Idea #203 – Visit the necropolis of the Ming Emperors
The dynasty of the Ming, which reigned over China between 1368 and 1644, made build real ” subterranean palaces “, intended according to the Chinese use to become their grave, and it from their entry in the power. On sixteen emperors of the dynasty, thirteen are buried in this vast necropolis, situated in 150 km in the northwest of Beijing. Yongle, the third emperor of the dynasty Ming, is the initiator of this incredible project; his grave rests moreover in the middle of the necropolis, which occupies 40 km ², closed by a wall. Thirteen graves are desserved by a common way, the shendao, also called Way of the Spirits. It is lined on 800 meters by symbolic zoomorphic statues as the lions, the elephants, unicornes, horses, camels, quilin, dragons, phoenix, or anthropomorphes, with warriors, and mandarins. The general organization of graves always answers the same plan s: they consist of a surrounding wall, which surrounds three courts separated by a door which marks the symbolic entrance of the grave, a door of the eminent favors Ling’ it in three or five openings, a palace of the eminent favors Ling dian to seven or nine spans, and a circular wall, the baocheng, which surrounded the tumulus covering the underground palace, topped with a tower of the stele in its previous extremity. In front of the tower of the stele is a stony table on which are put wugong, that is five ritual objects: a censer, two candlesticks and two stony vases. To date, only the access to the underground palace of Dingling, died in 1620, was discovered, delivering a rich furniture perfectly preserved) and shown in the museum and only three graves are opened to the public …
Where is it ?
Ming Tombs, Beijing, China