Xiaoling Tomb of Ming Dynasty
Xiaoling Tomb of Ming Dynasty – the World’s Cultural Heritage.
Being one of the largest imperial tomb complexes in China, it is the mausoleum of the founding emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang and his wife Ma. This 170-hectare sepulcher is set in an incredibly scenic environment where seasonal plants form breathtaking backdrops: plum blossom in spring, gingko and maple trees in autumn. The most iconic part of this 600-year-old tomb is the 800-metre Sacred Path. Four pairs of stone figures and 12 pairs of beasts play guard to the deceased emperor. The actual grave is said to lie behind the Ming Lou (the highest building) and is yet to be excavated.
- Better to hire a tour guide to explain interesting stories behind all remaining.
- On the Sacred Path, among four pairs of stone figures, two are warriors and two are civil officials. Twelve beasts have 6 kinds, with each kind two pairs, one standing, the other kneeling. All of these animals were carved out of huge blocks of stones. You may wonder how ancient masons moved so enormous a sculpture with most primitive tools. In cold winter, workers splashed water on the ground and waited it to freeze. To drag those colossuses on ice became much easier.
Metro Line 2 Muxuyuan (苜蓿园) Station Exit 1. Turn right and continue walking along Ninghang Gonglu (宁杭公路), turn left at Lingyuan Road, turn right at the third crossing, and go straight on. Total walking distance: 1100 meters.