The Ming Tombs Scenic Area is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest from Beijing City and the foot of Tianshou Mountain. In where lie the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). When Zhu Di, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here since 1409, the twelve emperors after him had their resting places which cover a total area of over 120 square kilometers (46.3 square miles) built around Changling during the following 230 years. This is the best-preserved mausoleum area with the most emperors buried. Millions of tourists come here to feast their eyes with its long history and remarkable building structure.
In the scenic area, each mausoleum has its own independent unit. The layout and arrangement of all the thirteen mausoleums are very similar, but they vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures. Each was built at the foot of the mountain. They stand between each other with distances ranging from half a kilometer (547 yards) to eight-kilometer (8,749 yards). The tombs stretch out on the two sides of Changling Tomb in a fan shape, except for the Siling Tomb, which sits separately in the southwest corner. From site selection to design, great attention was paid to the harmony and unity with nature, pursuing a perfect situation of ‘made by God’ and reflecting the philosophy ‘the unity of heaven and humanity’. As outstanding representatives of the ancient Chinese mausoleum, the Ming Tombs demonstrate the richness of traditional Chinese culture.
The Sacred Way is the approach to the Changling Tomb. It’s also known as Changling Sacred Way. 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, and Lingxin Gate.
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