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.
Originally the middle gate in front of the sacrificial hall, the original tablet hall was destroyed, with only the Sumeru steps left behind. The existing tablet hall was built in the late Qing dynasty. The tablet inscribed with “Governance modelled after prosperous Tang and Song Dynasties” erected in 1699 was personally written by emperor Kangxi during his inspection tour in southern China.
This gate is the first gate to the graveyard of the Ming Tomb of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. At the foot of the gate 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 1909.
The Golden Water Bridge, also called Five-Dragon Bridge, is located on the same north-south axis as the tomb palace. There used to be five paralleled single-arch bridges, corresponding to the five-arch palace gate situated 200 metres to the north. The remaining three bridges were renovated based on the original abutment and stone banks.
This tomb is that of the Hongwu Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, and his wife Ma Liangliang. Legend says that in order to prevent robbery of the tomb, 13 identical processions of funeral troops started from 13 city gates to obscure the real burying site. The construction of the mausoleum began during the Ming Dynasty in 1381 and ended in 1405, with a huge expenditure of resources involving 100,000 labourers. The original wall of the mausoleum was more than 22.5 kilometres long. The mausoleum was built under heavy guard of 5,000 military troops.
The tomb site today consists of the Civil and Military Gate, the Imperial Tablet Hall, the Sacrificial Hall and the Rectangular Citadel & Ming Tower. Behind the latter is a large mound where the emperor and his queen were buried in a clay vault, 400 meters in diameter. On a stone wall surrounding the vault, 7 Chinese characters were inscribed, identifying the mausoleum of Emperor Ming Taizu (respected title of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang).
Admission: Y70 for Ming Tomb, Y140 for combo ticket.
The Xiaoling Tomb is the burial place of Zhu Yuanzhang,the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty and his wife Empress Ma.It is situated below the Dulong Mound at the southern foot of the Zhongshan Mountain in the western part of Nanjing.As one of the largest imperial tombs existent in China,it became a major historic and cultural site under state protection in 1961.
In 2003,the 27th sension of the Unesco World Heritage Committee approwed to accept it into the World Heraitage List as an associated site of "the imperial tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties."
The Ming Tomb is part of a larger tourist site known as Zhongshan Mountain National Park that includes a number of different parks, walks and monuments. The Ming Tomb is the tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming dynasty. He was buried here in 1398.
There are a number of buildings associated with the tomb including Xiama Water Bridge, Big Golden Gate, Square City,Golden Water Bridge, Dajinmen gate, Wenwu Gate, Sifangcheng pavilion, Xiaoling Palace, Rectangular Citadel, Ming Tower and Treasure Mound. Make sure that you get a tourist map which does show you where everything is but unfortunately little else.
For this reason the significance of the various buildings "escaped" me but it was interesting to walk along the Sacred Avenue with its Stone Sculptures and meander through the various gates and "pavillions"
We were travelling with our father in laws and have to join a tour package (We hate to be tied to a tour schedule). One of the visit is to the Ming Tomb which we find that too short a time was given to explore this place.
If given a longer time, we should discover more interesting items than this silly tortoise statue placed somewhere around the tomb area.
Visitors should know that a Chinese Emperor Tomb is not just a slab of stone but can cover several miles in area.
Nanjing was made the capital of Ming Dynasty after the overthrow of the Mongols. Later, the capital was moved to Beijing. Hence the early Ming emperors were buried in Nanjing while later were buried in Beijing Ming Tombs.
The Nanjing Ming Tombs are smaller that the later Beijing Tombs. But I am just impressed by the animal statues leading to the tombs. The actual tombs have not been found and so it will be exciting when they are actually located.
The mausoleum lies at the northern foot of Mount Zijin (Mount Purple Gold). Legend says that in order to prevent robbery of the tomb, 13 same processions of funeral troops started from 13 city gates to cover the real burying site. The construction of the mausoleum began in 1381 and ended in 1405, taking 100 thousand labors 25 years with huge amount of expenditure. The original wall of the mausoleum was more than 22.5 kilometers. Under heavy guard of 5,000 military troops, the mausoleum was heavily constructed and planted.
This small museum is located near the Ming Tomb in the Purple Mountains. It exhibits many pottery and porcelain pieces.