The Spirit Way, Ming Tombs 明十三陵, BeiJing

The Ming Tombs are a collection of mausoleums built by emperors of the Ming dynasty. They lie within the ChangPing District of BeiJing Municipality, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north-northwest of Beijing city center.

The site was chosen based on the principles of Feng Shui by the third Ming emperor, YongLe. Construction began after completion of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) in 1420. Subsequent emperors placed their tombs in the same valley; 13 in total.

The siting of the Ming dynasty imperial tombs was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui principles. A key guide is that bad spirits and cold winds from the north must be deflected; therefore, an arc-shaped valley area at the foot of the JunDu Mountains was selected. This 40 square kilometer area, enclosed by mountains in a pristine, quiet valley with dark earth and tranquil water became the necropolis of the Ming dynasty.

A 7 kilometer (4 mile) path named the Spirit Way, or Sacred Way, leads into the complex, lined with statues of guardian animals and officials, with a front memorial gate consisting of three arches called the Great Red Gate; constructed in 1540, it is one of the biggest stone archways in China.

Further in, lies the ShenGong ShengDe Stele Pavilion with a 50 tonne stone statue of BiXi carrying a memorial tablet. Four white marble HuaBiao (pillars of glory) are positioned at each corner of the pavilion; at the top of each is a mythical beast. Then come two pillars on each side of the path, whose surfaces are carved with a cloud design, and tops are shaped like a cylinder; these are of a traditional design and were originally beacons to guide the soul of the deceased, The path leads to 18 pairs of stone statues of mythical animals, which are all sculpted from single blocks; these are all larger than life size. After, the path leads to a three-arched gate known as the Dragon and Phoenix Gate.

Two of the mausoleums are open to visitors, but it is the beauty of the valley, with orchards, and the sheer scale of the area used for the tombs, that make this a nice day out in the countryside.

[640],shadow=true,start=33,stop=
 

Related Videos

Featured Videos

The 2010 Asian Games closing gala – best songs
A selection of beautiful performances from the 16th Asian Games held in GuangZhou, provincial capital of GuangDong ... Sing Sing So - Indonesia Mongolia Sakura - Japan Yue Guang Guang - China Kazakhstan Happy Journey Mongani by Gupta Tanya & Ravi Tripathi Sunshine Again
FenJieZhou Island 分界洲, HaiNan province
South China
XianYuFeng 仙宇峰 ‘Sky’ Temple, GuiZhou
Scenes from the Li River 漓江, between YangShuo and GuiLin, GuangXi province
Impression LiJiang 印象丽江 – the open-air musical
Impression LiJiang is a one hour, open-air musical based on local folklore and song, directed by famed film director Zhang YiMou, with Wang ChaoGe and Fan Yue. Featuring a cast of over 500 performers, it is staged in front of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in YunNan province. The most famous music item is the Naxi song 'Return Home'.
Fast forward ShangHai 上海
Beautiful sweeping scenes ...
Exploring beautiful YunNan 云南 province
A BeiJingBuzzz special. Including DaLi 大力, LiJiang 丽江, Tiger Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡 and ChengDu 成都. A great film - don't miss it ...
Sailing along the HuangPu River 黄浦江, ShangHai 上海
The beauty of HangZhou 杭州 …
Hángzhōu lies in ZheJiang province
The awesome ZhongShan 中山 University graduation flash-mob
2016 年中山大学毕业季快闪 Sun Yat-Sen University, also known as ZhongShan University, is a public university in GuangDong, south east China. It was founded in 1924 by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a revolutionary and the founding father of the Republic of China. Don't miss this; the song at 6:00 will melt any frozen heart .
ZhengZhou 郑州, HeNan province
One of the 'Eight Great Ancient Capitals' of China. Great music in this beautiful film ...
Climbing Mount HuaShan 华山
Filmed in August 2010. Includes the famous 'plank walk' at the end; this is perched precariously on a cliff face that is well over 1000m above the valley below, in a sheer drop. The plank walk is on the east peak, which is about a 15km walk / climb from the north peak. HuaShan ('Flower Mountain', or 'Splendid Mountain') lies in southern ShaanXi province, about 120km east of Xi'An; it is one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, with four main peaks.

A selection of popular videos

Keyword / tag search :