" Imperial Tablet Hall was built under the order of Qing Emperor Kangxi. During his third inspection tour to southern China in 1699. Kangxi came here to pay homage to the Ming emperor. Seeing the building mostly ruins, he ordered local officials to renovate them and wrote four characters " zhi long tang song" (literally meaning " Running the state even better than Tang Emperor Taizong and Song Emperor Taizu, two successful emperors in Chinese history" ) to be inscribed on a tablet by Cao Yin (grandfather of Cao Xueqin, one of the greatest men of letters in Chinese history. Another two tablets inscribed with handwriting by Qing Emperor Qianlong (grandson of Emperor Kangxi) were juxtaposed on both sides. "
Note from Signboard.
Next: The Eastern Hall
In Chinese: 碑殿， bei dian
" Facing the west, the Imperial Kitchen was built on a high platform. It was 27.5 meters long, and 11.3 meters wide, or 5 bays in width. Two big square bricks with burnt marks have been unearthed from the site. Therefore, it is supposed to be remains having something to do with imperial kitchen. "
Note from Signboard.
Next: Imperial Tablet Hall
In Chinese: 御厨基址， yu chu ji zhi
The first gate you will see when you enter graveyard of MingTomb is the Civil and Military Gate, and followed by two well pavilions on each side of the wall, 3) Eastern Well Pavilion and 4) Western Well Pavilion.
Civil and Military Gate: In 1998, the Administration of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum had its original appearance restored according to the burial system of the Ming Tomb of the Ming Dynasty. At the foot of the gate there is a "Special Notice" tablet inscribed in Japanese, German, Italian, English, French and Russian. It was jointly erected for the preservation of the Ming Tomb in the first year under Xuantong Reign of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1909) by the taotai (head) of Liangjiang Westernization Bureau and the magistrate of Jiangning Prefecture.
In the yard formed by Civil and Military Gate and the front gate of the Sacrificial Hall, there were two wells sheltered under pavilions in Ming Dynasty. In the Ming dynasty, water drawn from these two wells for the use of cleaning sacrificial animals and cooking meals for the imperial court.
In Chinese: 文武方门， wen wu fang men
Next: The Imperial Kitchen
Plum Blossom Hill is located southwest of the Ming Xiaoling Tomb, a hill that has ten thousand plum gardens, 400 acres of land with 230 varieties of species. This hill is famous as the tomb of Sun Quan, an emperor of the three kingdoms. During my visit in Oct, there were nothing much to see here because there were no plum blossom during October. Based on some blog, best time to visit is around end of February and beginning of Mach. You will see plenty of plum blossom here.
A tradition Chinese Pavilion is built on the hill, and you can have a city view from the pavilion.
In Chinese: 梅花山， mei hua shan
" The Tablet Tower of Great Merits was built on a square base in the 11th year under the Yongle Reign (AD 1413), which contributes to its general name Square City. Its roof has been destroyed. It houses "The Tablet of Great Merits of the Ming Tomb of the Great Ming Dynasty", which was erected for Zhu Yuanzhang by his forth son Zhu Di, the third Ming emperor. The inscription has altogether 2746 characters written by Zhu Di in praise of the merits and achievements of his father. This is the largest tablet in Nanjing. "
Note From the Signboard.
In Chinese: 神功圣德碑楼， shen gong sheng de bei lou
This 57.5 metre long, 26 metre, single-arch bridge lies in front of the Rectangular Citadel & Ming Tower. After Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang died, his coffin was carried across the bridge to be buried in the small hill behind the tower.
The so-called Treasure Mound is 325m to 400m in diameter at the bottom and lies behind the imposing Rectangular Citadel & Ming Tower. It was originally a small hill called Dulongfu (single dragon mound) and is where the tomb of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and his wide Empress Ma are buried.
The Ming Tower is built on top of the Rectangular Citadel and is the commanding building of the Ming Tomb. There are three arched doors in its southern wall and one in each of the other three walls. The inside floor is paved with square bricks. It originally had a yellow glazed double-eaved roof which was destroyed during the reign of Qing Emperor Xianfeng.
The original Sacrificial Hall was built in 1383 for the memorial tablets of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. It was a huge wooden structure with 9 bays in width and 5 deep with 56 stone column bases which still exist today. This building was destroyed by war in 1853 and this building was then built in its place.
Placed before the Sacrificial Hall on each side of its gate, the pair of Sacrificial Censers are actually two small temple-shaped buildings made of yellow and green glazed materials. Pieces of paper on which characters were inscribed to call back the spirit of the dead) were burnt for sacrificial ceremonies.
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