Ming Tombs

Located 50 kilometers northwest of Beijing City, the Ming Tombs are the mausoleums of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Originally built in 1409 in the Yongle period of the Ming Dynasty for the burial of emperors, from Emperor Yongle (buried in Chang Tomb) to the last Ming Emperor, Chongzheng, it has thirteen emperors' tombs, seven concubine tombs and one eunuch tomb.

Situated on Tianshou Mountain, it has an area of more than 120 square kilometers. Thirteen imperial tombs built in the foothills on three sides, east, west, and north, form a large cemetery of magnificent mausoleum buildings.

The layout and style of all thirteen mausoleums are very similar, but vary in size, as well as in complexity of their structures. The names of thirteen mausoleums are Chang Ling (tomb of the Yongle emperor), Ding Ling (Tomb of Emperor Wanli), Zhao Ling (Tomb of Emperor Longqing), Yong Ling (Tomb of Emperor Jiajing), Xian Ling (Tomb of Emperor Hongxi), Qing Ling (Tomb of Emperor Taichang), Mao Ling (Tomb of Emperor Chenghua), Kang Ling (Tomb of Emperor Zhengde), Jing Ling (Tomb of Emperor Xuande), Tai Ling (Tomb of Emperor Hongzhi), De Ling (Tomb of Emperor Tianqi), Yu Ling (Tomb of Emperor Yingzong) and Si Ling (Tomb of Emperor Chongzhen).

Only Changling Tomb, Dingling Tomb and Zaoling Tomb are open to the public.

Changling Tomb

Located on the south side of the main peak of the Tianshou Mountains, Changling Tomb, as the chief of the Ming Tombs, is the largest in scale housing Zhu Di (Emperor Yongle, the fourth son of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang) and his empress. Changling Mausoleum's buildings take up an area of 120,000 square meters, and the total internal area of the main building is 1,956 square meters.

Changling consists of three connected courtyards, and the most worthy of a visit is second courtyard, named Ling’en Hall. It is the only building which is made of phoebe wood. The ceiling of the hall is colorfully painted and supported by sixteen solid camphor posts. The floor was decorated with gold bricks.

 

Dingling Tomb

Ding Ling is the tomb of Emperor Zhi Yijun (Emperor Wanli) with his two empresses. It is under ground, about 27 meters deep. Emperor Wanli occupied the throne for 48 years, the longest period among the sixteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty.

With an area of 182,000 square meters, Dingling is the only tomb fully excavated. The entire tomb is made of stone. The Stone Bridge, Soul Tower, Baocheng, and the Underground Hall are the main features of its architecture. The Soul Tower is the symbol of Ding Tomb, and it forms the entrance to the underground chambers. The yellow glazed tiles, archway, rafters, eaves, and columns were all sculptured from stone and colorfully painted.

itical activities by Emperor Guangxu and Empress Cixi.


The building is divided into three sections consisting of five halls: the front hall, the middle hall, the rear hall, and the left and right halls. The front hall is the entrance. The other four halls have a white marble coffin bed and floor made of gold bricks. The coffins of Emperor Wanli and his two empresses are in the rear hall, which is the biggest part of the tomb. There are lots of precious items displayed in the coffins, especially the gold imperial crown, which is one of the rarest treasures in the world.

 

Zhaoling

With an area of 35,000 square meters, Zhao Tomb consists of Ling’en Gate, Ling’en Hall, Fangcheng, Bright Tower, and Baoding. Emperor Longqing and his three empresses were buried there.

 

The Sacred Way

The Sacred Way is the main road to the thirteen mausoleums. In Chinese, Sacred Way means 'the Road Leading to Heaven'. There are 12 human figures, 24 animals (lion, camel, elephant, dragon, phoenix, and other powerful animals) standing on the both side of the road.

 

Travel Information

Ticket

Changling Tomb: 30 yuan per person (shoulder season from Nov 1 to Mar 31); 45 Yuan per person (high season from April 1 to Oct 31)

Dingling Tomb: 40 yuan per person in the shoulder season; 60 yuan per person in the high season

Zhaoling Tomb: 20 yuan per person in the shoulder season; 30 yuan per person in the high season

Open hours

From 8:30am – 5:30pm

Transportation

Take Subway Line 5 to Tiantongyuanbei Station and catch Changping bus 23 to Zhaoling Tomb

Take Subway Line 5 to Tiantongyuanbei Station and catch Changping bus 23 to Zhaoling Tomb

 

Tailor-made