Ming Tombs in Beijing Tour Guide:
Having explored the architectural triumphs of the Ming Dynasty during their lifetime, set out to see what they would have wished for in their death. Located on the outskirts of Beijing, the Ming Dynasty Tombs house the final resting places of 13 Ming Emperors. The first Ming Emperor to be buried here was the founder of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heavens, Emperor Yongle. He was the one who commissioned the first Ming Mausoleum at this spot for himself and others followed suit.
Explore the tombs for a glimpse of the grandeur with which the Ming Emperors were buried. At the entrance to the Ming Tombs, pass through a 16th century, finely carved archway, one of the largest ancient stone archways in China and walk through the curvy Sacred Way to the Changling Tomb, Emperor Yongle’s tomb. The path is curved to fool evil spirits, which according to Chinese belief could travel only in straight paths. All along the path, you can find intricately carved statues of the Emperor’s Imperial Officials and animals such as the Chinese mythological qilin, unicorn, lion, elephant, horse and the camel.
The Changling Tomb, the most magnificent and restored of all Ming tombs, features a magnificent Stele Pavilion with a 50-ton stone tortoise whose shell holds a magnificent stone tablet commemorating the great virtues of Emperor Yongle and the Ling En Hall, the greatest and grandest example of imperial architecture at the Ming Tombs. Other tombs open to the public include the Zhaoling Tomb and the Dingling Tomb, the tombs of the 12th and 13th Ming Emperors, respectively. The complex also houses a Ming Tomb Museum, where you can learn more about the lives and achievements of the Ming Emperors.