Attraction Ming Shisan Ling Area, Changling Town, Changping District, Beijing 102213, China Published on: 08-08-2016
|1 hours 30 mins|
|08:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
Temple & Monument
Ming Tombs is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Ming Tombs is special ?
The Ming Tombs, located in Changping District, about 50 kilometers from the northwest of Beijing, are surrounded by mountains on three sides. The imperial cemetery covers an area of 120 square kilometers and there are 13 Ming Dynasty emperors buried there (along with 23 empresses and a number of concubines, princes and princesses), thus it is also called The 13 Mausoleums. These tombs are the best preserved Chinese imperial tombs and have been nominated by UNESCO as world cultural heritage. At present, there are only the Sacred Way, Changling Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb and Dingling Tomb which are open to the public.
What to explore at Ming Tombs?
The Sacred Way, also known as Changling Sacred Way, is the approach to the Changling Tomb. Along the Way from south to north, you will see a number of sites (or sights) of interest and beauty, including the Stone Tablet Archway, Great Red Gate, Tablet Pavilion, Ornamental Columns, Stone Figures, Lingxin Gate.
Walking along the Sacred Way to the end, you can see the Changling Tomb (built in 1409), where lie the third Emperor of Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Di and his Empress Xu. It is the largest, original and the best preserved among the thirteen tombs, and has three courtyards in the front and a Treasure City in the round rear part. The magnificent Grace and Blessing Palace (Ling'en Palace) in the second courtyard is highly recommended.
Built from 1584 to 1590, it is the mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yijun, the thirteenth emperor of the Ming Dynasty and his two empresses. The highlight part is the stone Underground Palace, which was discovered between 1956 and 1958, and had a great deal of precious relics unearthed.
Located in eastern foot of Dayu Mountain, Zhaoling is where the 12th emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Zaihou and his three empresses were buried. It features the special Dumb Yard in a crescent shape housing the imperial coffins.
How to get to Ming Tombs?
1. Special tourist Bus 872 (formerly 925) runs directly from Desheng Gate to Dingling and Changling every 30 minutes in peak hours from 07:10-19:10.
2. Take bus no. 919 branch line 1, 345 branch line or 881 at Desheng Gate West Station, get off at Changping Dongguan Crossing Station, and then take bus no. 314 to the Sacred Way (Nanxin Village Station), Dingling and Changling.
3. Take Changping Bus no. 22 to Changling, Dingling and Zhaoling at Li Shui Qiao Station; or take bus no. 345 branch line or 881 at Desheng Gate West Station, get off at Sha He Station, and then transfer to Changping Bus no. 22.
Subway: Take subway line 5 to Tiantongyuan Bei Station, and shift to Changping Bus no. 22.
- The imperial cemetery
- World cultural heritage.
- Beautiful architecture and scenery
- Scenic & Peaceful
- Historical Statement
Ming Shisan Ling Area, Changling Town, Changping District, Beijing 102213, China
Tips for you
There are 13 tombs, but only 2 are available for tours. Then there is the area of the sacred way down below the tombs, that is a separate touring area and no tombs present. The lower area has no museum and little history available, but is a beautiful pathway under weeping willows and lined by stone monuments. It is meant to be the lower entrance to the widespread tomb area. The tomb itself, up on the hill in another area, has a museum and is actually more descriptive of the significance of the Ming emperors. Interesting area that is on the way to the Great Wall. Tours try to time the wall, tombs with a visit to the largest jade factory.
In 1409, Emperor Zhu Di built Chang Ling Tomb. He was the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty to build a tomb. After that, another 12 tombs were built. The Chang Ling Tomb is the largest and the most completely preserved of these tombs. At the back portion of the Tomb where Emperor Zhu Di and Empress Xu are buried, is a big hill with a huge antenna on top. I found it disrespectful and rather odd. But it’s the highest hill and technology rules.
Very interesting even for those of us who are only mildly interested in history. The colors and scenery very interesting.
We visited the tombs on our way to the Badaling section of the Great Wall. It was my favourite place in Beijing! It’s not as popular, so there weren’t the crowds you find at other attractions. The tombs were built by the Chinese Ming dynasty emperors. The site of the tombs is at the foot of the Jundu Mountains and was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui principles. The setting is stunning with beautiful buildings and gardens. In one of the buildings there were many Chinese artefacts and information so we learnt a lot about the tombs and Chinese history. The Spirit Way (or Sacred Way) is a 0.7km road that leads into the Ming Tombs and it’s absolutely stunning. There are about 18 pairs of marble statues lining the walkway. These larger than life size statues are approx 600 years old and were sculpted from whole stones. There was no one else at the Spirit Way when we visited, a rarity in Beijing, so walking down a walkway lined by willows and marble statues in autumn was truly magical!.