Grand China Travel

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Introducing Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty, Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty Travel Guide
Article from Nanjing Municipal Commission of Tourism

The Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty is the tomb of the first Emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang(1328-1398)and his queen. Although today only parts of the tomb remain, namely, leading area, Dajinmen and stele tower area, sacred way and burial area, Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty is still magnificent. And Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty is listed in the World Cultural Heritage Record. The south of the burial area is Meihua Hill, where the tomb of Sun Ouan locates. The Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty lies on Dulongbu Hill below the western peak (Wanzhu Peak) of the purple Mountain. The Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty was built in 1391-1393. Its site and structure were chosen by Zhu Yuanzhang himself. The tomb is characteristic of the wonderful arrangement of the winding tomb passage in combination with the topography.

The tomb passage of Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty starts from the Dismounting-from-Horse Archway in Weigang where there are two stone tablets (moved to the side of the highway). Hundreds of steps to the northwest is the Big Golden Gate, where the imperial wall of the tomb area starts and extends as long as 22.5 kilometers, reaching the city wall on the west and Linggu Temple on the east. The Big Golden Gate has three archways with single eaves and gable and hip roofs. To the north of the gate is the Monument Pavilion, commonly called the Squared Citadel, in which is a 8.87 meter-high monument, one of the huge ancient monuments of China. It was erected in 1413 by Zhu Di for his father Zhu Yuanzhang in memory of his great achievements. To the north of the pavilion is the Yuqiao Bridge where the tomb passage turns west. The hillock is flat and wide. On either side of the passage stand large stone animals. Then the passage turns north. One can see a pair of ornamental columns followed by four pairs of statues: two pairs of generals and two pairs of civil officials. Then it is Lingxing Gate. The passage turns northeast and extends to the back of the Plum Flower Hill which is just in front of the tomb and where the emperor of the Three Kingdoms Sun Quan was buried. Then the passage comes to the Gold Water Bridge, north of which is the tomb axis. Here is the end of the leading part.

Over 100 steps across the bridge is a gate and after that is Xiangdian Hall Gate. Xiangdian Hall is also called "Xiaoling Hall" and has 9 bays. On both sides are small houses. Outside the gate are the Pavilion for killing animals as sacrifices, Jufu Hall, etc. At the back of Xiaoling Hall there are three varied archways. The body of the tomb is called "the Precious Citadel", and surrounded by high walls of huge rocks in the shape of a rough circle. Before the Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty is the memorial shrine on a high square-walled bastion made of rectangular rocks. Underneath the bastion is a tunnel with stone steps leading first to the back of the bastion and then to the shrine. At the mouth the tunnel is a huge stone bridge, called the Immortal-Turning Bridge. The bridge face is wide and flat like a square, which can also be used as a place for a memorial ceremony.

Quick Facts on Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty

• Name: Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty
• Location: Zhongshan Scenic Area, Xuanwu District
• Phone: +86-25-84446111
• Date: Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)
• Best Time to Visit: March to May; September to November
• Recommended Time for a Visit: 2-3 Hour
• Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00
• Admission Fee: CNY 70

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