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

ShangHai 上海 night drive …
Bonus film - ShenZhen morning drive ...
The Hong Kong flower show 香港花卉展 2018
With some nice Canto-pop. A film by Ben Cheung ...
BingLing Temple 炳灵寺 Grottoes, YongJing, GanSu province
A beautiful series of grottoes filled with Buddhist sculpture carved into natural caves and caverns in a canyon along the Yellow River. It lies just north of where the Yellow River empties into the LiuJiaXia Reservoir.
The BeiJing 北京 2022 Winter Olympics
The Olympics return to China's capital, the first time a city has hosted both the summer and winter Games ...
A visit to YangShuo 阳朔 in GuangXi province
Deng XiaoPing – history / documentary
FuShan 福山, ShanDong province in time-lapse
Near the city of YanTai.
LongQing Xia 龙庆峡, BeiJing
The beautiful LongQing Gorge is just 90 km north west of the city and a great day trip ...
The Forbidden City 故宫 (Palace Museum), in Ultra HD / 4k
This beautiful Ming dynasty complex (GuGong, 'Old Palace'), which opened in 1420, lies in the heart of Beijing ... Bonus films - mostly Beijing, plus a little ShangHai ...
The ShangHai 上海 World Expo : night scenes – video
Various views of the buildings and light shows ...
ShangHai 上海 – an aerial and historical guide
A fascinating look at the extraordinary history and transformation of ShangHai. With China Central TV (CCTV). Narrated by Owen Grant. Bonus film - sailing along the HuangPu River at night, between the Bund in PuXi (west of the river) and PuDong (east of the river). The most well known area of PuDong is the LuJiaZui finance and trade zone that includes the ShangHai Stock Exchange and many of ShangHai's highest buildings, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Jin Mao Tower, the ShangHai World Financial Center, and the ShangHai Tower.
The beautiful ZhangJiaJie 张家界, HuNan province

A selection of popular videos

Keyword / tag search :