Once you've seen the Forbidden City, where all but two of fifteen Ming emperors lived, take a trip out to their final resting place, the Ming Tombs, or "Thirteen Tombs" (Shísān Líng, 十三陵). The third Ming emperor, Yongle (1402-1424), chose the site based on its excellent feng shui and the harmonic balance of wooded mountains to the north, rich dark earth and calm waters is as pleasant today as it must have been when chosen as the last resting place of emperors. Only three of the tombs are presently open to the public,..
Situated in the west of Suzhou, Tiger Hill (Hǔ Qiū, 虎丘) marks the burial ground of He Lu, the father of Suzhou. Atop the hill stands the Tiger Hill Pagoda (Hǔ Qiū Tǎ, 虎丘塔), which the Suzhounese love to compare to the Tower of Pisa. The 1000-year-old pagoda began tilting 400 years ago—a good while after the Pisan Tower and arguably less impressively. The Tiger Hill grounds cover an area of about 14,000 sq m (approx. 3 acres) in total and is home to several historic buildings and landmarks. The burial site of He Lu, entombed here by his..
The Abakh Hoja Tomb (sometimes spelled Afaq Khoja Tomb) (Apàkè Huòjiā Mù, 阿帕克霍加墓), situated some 5 km (3 mi) outside of town in the village of Haohan (浩罕村), sits peacefully in the midst of poplars and pines. Although many Han Chinese prefer to think of this as the tomb of Xiangfei (Xiāng Fēi, 香妃), a.k.a "the Fragrant Concubine"—a Uyghur beauty who was forced into a marriage with the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong after having participated in resistance to imperial rule— the local Uyghur highlight..
Longquan Shan Scenic Area is located 20 km away from downtown, in the southeastern suburbs of Wuhan City. Situated by Liangzi Lake, the scenic area is bordered with water on three sides. Two mountain ranges stretch from the west to the east for about 9 km through the scenic area, forming a valley view area of about 7.6 square kilometers. Longquan Shan Mountain was called Jiangxia Shan before Tang Dynasty. Many hermits and literati once lived here. At the end of Tianbao Period of Tang Dynasty, a high official named Li Xi dug two holes here..
Located on Dongfeng Road, near Nianjia Lake (Nianjia Hu), the Hunan Provincial Museum (Hunan Bowuguan), is one of China's better museums. The complex has three main buildings, one of which covers revolutionary history and two that are devoted to the Western Han (206 BC-24 AD) tombs that were discovered at Mawangdui, 4km northeast of Changsha. The tombs, discovered in 1972 and containing over 3,000 antiques, were the burial ground for the Marquis of Dai, Li Cang, and his family. Li Cang was Prime Minister to the King of Changsha..
The Zhao Mausoleum (Zhāo Líng, 昭陵) or North Tomb is situated amongst the expansive greens and lakes of Beiling Park (Běilíng Gōngyuán, 北陵公园), near the Shenyang Imperial Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Zhao Mausoleum is one of Shenyang's most popular historic and cultural attractions. Commissioned by the first Qing emperor Abahai, also known as Huang Taiji, the tombs feature masterful artistry combining Manchu and Chinese architectural elements. Wandering through the mausoleum's grand palaces and..
The Fu Mausoleum (Fú Líng, 福陵) or East Tomb is the final resting place of Nurhaci, the great Manchu leader and founder of the Qing state, and his wife, Empress Xiao Ci. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Fu Mausoleum is listed as an extension of the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Bejiing and Shenyang. Showcasing masterful Manchu architecture, the East Tomb incorporates elements of traditional Chinese feng shui. The tomb stands on the western edge of Dongling Park (Dōng Líng..
The Zhaojun Tomb (Zhāojūn Mù, 昭君墓), dedicated to one of the "Four Beauties of Ancient China," is a symbol of the Han Chinese influence in what was once outside the borders of the Middle Kingdom. Like the Genghis Khan Mausoleum, which is closer to Baotou, the Zhaojun Tomb might be more accurately described as a memorial as the site of the actual tomb is unknown. Wang Qiang—later known by her courtesy name Wang Zhaojun—was a Han Dynasty minor courtier married off as a political gesture to a friendly chief of..
Located in Baohe Park, Lord Bao's Tomb (Bao Gong Ci) is commemorates one of Hefei's most well respected and beloved sons. Lord Bao (999-1062), whose full name was Bao Zheng, served as a judge during the tumultuous Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127) and became so famous for his just ways and defense of China's common people that today he is known throughout China by many as Bao Gong, or the "God of Justice," and prayed to accordingly. His popularity is also well marked in folk tales, song and traditional..
Guanlin Temple dates back to the year 1596 in the later half of the Ming Dynasty, and has an interesting—albeit gruesome—story attached to it. Legend has it that Guan Yu, whose tale is perfectly hyperbolized in the famed Romance of Three Kingdoms (author: Luo Guanzhong), led many a battle and offered allegiances with several neighboring warlords, playing one against the other. When his tactics were finally discovered, Guan Yu was ambushed and beheaded. His severed head was sent to Caocao, one of the warlords for whom Guan had..
The Astana Graves (Asītǎnǎ Gǔmù, 阿斯塔那古墓), nicknamed "The Underground Museum", and located 6 km (4 mi) from the ancient city of Gaochang, is the final resting place for over 1,000 inhabitants of Gaochang, both commoners and locals. The tombs cover over ten sq km (six sq mi), having been used for over 600 years between 200 CE and 800 CE. In addition to the inhabitants of Gaochang, some tombs are the graves of several Tang Dynasty rulers, where one can find various Tang Dynasty figurines and Chinese silk..
On the outskirts of Anyang lies the Tomb of Yuan Shikai (Yuán Shìkǎi Mù, 袁世凯墓), an ambitious Henan-born military leader who became both the first president and, later, the self-proclaimed but little-respected last emperor of China. Designed in the style of Ming-Qing Dynasty tombs, "Yuan Forest" (Yuán Lín, 袁林), as the tomb is also known, takes visitors along a path through a memorial gateway, a statue-lined walkway, a second courtyard and finally to the tomb mound itself. Though not as elaborate as the..