Welcome to Xianling Mausoleum
The Xianling Mausoleum used to be called the Imperial Mausoleum, and covered an area of some 183 hectares. Built in 1520 and completed 47 years later, the mausoleum belonged to Zhu Youyuan, the father of Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and his mother, surnamed Jiang. The mausoleum's scale and memorial system are more or less comparable to other imperial mausoleums.
The mausoleum is surrounded by red walls with a 3.6-kilometer circumference and a 1,300-meter-long passageway paved with flagstones. On both sides of the passageway is a pair of stone pillars, lions, camels, elephants, unicorns, sitting and standing horses and two pairs of statues of generals and arts ministers. Located at the back are two halls. Although the halls were deserted by the end of the Ming Dynasty, glass flowers, walls with two engraved dragons, stone hall bases and stone-carved rails, which are highly esteemed in the fine arts, still exist. At the back of the mausoleum is the Ying City, or the Treasure City, which houses two large mausoleums belonging to Zhu Youyuan and his wife. The sewer in the front of the city is decorated with 99 marvelous white marble dragonheads.
Exquisite Arrangement
The mausoleum was built as two circles. The outside circle is formed by a 3600-meter-long wall, which is 6 meters high and 1.8 meters thick. The wall wriggles among the mountains and magnifies the solemn and greatness of the mausoleum. Red walls, golden tiles, as well as arches, towers and other delicate structures show the unique nobility of the mausoleum’s host. Xianling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty is the only royal mausoleum with walls, and is the treasure of the Chinese ancient architecture.
Historical Background
The host of the Xianling Mausoleum, Zhu Youyuan was a king when he was alive. Zhu Youyuan was the brother of Wuzong Emperor at that time. According to the Chinese royal succession rules, Wuzong Emperor’s son should take the crown after Wuzong’s death. However, the Wuzong Emperor has no sons, therefore, Zhu Houcong, the son of Wuzong Emperor’s brother Zhu Youyuan, take the crown instead. Zhu Houcong made great effort and even used bloody means to keep the throne, and after his succession, he gave the title of emperor to his late father Zhu Youyuan, and empress to his mother. The expansion of the mausoleum began right after Zhou Houcong’s succession and didn’t cease until his death.
Admission fee: 50RMB/person
Opening hours: 08:00-17:30
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