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Ming Dynasty Tombs
Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ming Dynasty Tombs are located some 50 kilometers due North of Beijing at an especially selected site.
The site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402 - 1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to the present location of Beijing.
He is credited with envisioning the layout of the ancient city of Beijing as well as a number of landmarks and monuments located therein.
After the construction of the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and creating his own mausoleum.

For a more information about Ming Tombs see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_Tombs) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, November 2007.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
About Wikipedia

This information was correct in November 2007. E. & O.E.

The Ming Dynasty Tombs' approaches begin in the beautiful valley, the seven kilometre 'spirit way' at a triumphal arch and the Red Gate and passes the giant tortoise and 12 sets of giant stone animals.
Every second one is in a reclining position, legend has it, to allow for a 'changing the guard' at midnight.
Further on are 12 stone-faced human statues of generals, ministers and officials, each distinguishable by the headgear, than the Dragon and Phoenix Gate.
The tombs look much like a bank vault and held the body of an emperor, his wives and girlfriends, and funerary treasures.
Dingling is the only tomb excavated at Shisanling although 13 of the 16 Ming emperors are buried in the 40-square-kilometre area.
Dingling, the tomb of Emperor Wan Li ( 1573-1620), is the second-largest tomb.
Over six years the emperor used a half-million workers and a heap of silver to build his necropolis and then held a wild party inside the completed chambers.
It was excavated between 1956 and 1958.
The underground construction covers 1195 square metres, is built entirely of stone, and is sealed with an unusual lock stone.
The tomb yielded up 26 lacquered trunks of funerary objects, some of which are displayed onsite; others have been removed to Beijing museums and replaced with copies.
The other tombs, such as Changling, can be viewed from the exterior, it was started in 1409 and took 18 years to complete, is the tomb of Emperor Tong Le and 16 of his concubines were buried alive with his corpse.
Wan Li and his royal spouses were buried in double coffins surrounded by chunks of uncut jade.
The jade was thought to have the power to preserve the dead.
The tombs lie 50 kilometres north-west of Beijing.

We thoroughly enjoyed our sojourn at the Ming Dynasty Tombs.
My son, Endre, and I have mounted many of the giant animals.
It's OK. It's the right thing to do.
As a matter of fact we were told by the guide that it is lucky to mount the giants.
We also encountered a filmcrew, busy filming the approaches and performing some Kung Fu action.


You can click on these photos for an enlargement.

Ming Dynasty Tombs Ming Dynasty Tombs

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