Introducing Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs (Shísān Líng; admission per tomb;
The Ming Tombs follow a standard layout for imperial tomb design. The plan typically consists of a main gate (líng mén) leading to the first of a series of courtyards and the main hall, the Hall of Eminent Favours (Líng’ēn Diàn). Beyond lie further gates or archways, leading to the Soul Tower (Míng Lóu), behind which rises the burial mound.
Cháng Líng (admission Y45), burial place of the emperor Yongle, is the most impressive, with its series of magnificent halls lying beyond its yellow-tiled gate. Seated upon a three-tiered marble terrace, the most notable structure is the Hall of Eminent Favours, containing a recent statue of Yongle and a breathtaking interior with vast nanmu (cedarwood) columns. The pine-covered burial mound at the rear of the complex is yet to be excavated and is not open to the public.
Dìng Líng (admission incl museum Y60), the burial place of the emperor Wanli, contains a series of subterranean interlocking vaults and the remains of the various gates and halls of the complex. Excavated in the late 1950s, this tomb is of more interest to some visitors as you are allowed to descend into the underground vault. Accessing the vault down the steps, visitors are confronted by the simply vast marble self-locking doors that sealed the chamber after it was vacated. The tomb is also the site of the absorbing Ming Tombs Museum (Shísān Líng Bówùguǎn; admission Y20).
Zhāo Líng (admission Y30), the resting place of the 13th Ming emperor Longqing, follows an orthodox layout and is a tranquil alternative if you find the other tombs too busy.
The road leading up to the tombs is the 7km Spirit Way (Shéndào; admission Y20;
Ming Tombs destination guides
Private Tour: Ming Tombs and Great Wall at Mutianyu from Beijing
On this full-day private tour, visit two of China’s most famous sites -- the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall at Mutianyu. See the Chang Ling Tomb, an impressive royal tomb of the Yongle Emperor from the Ming Dynasty.
Private Tour: Great Wall of China at Juyongguan and Ming Tombs from Beijing
See the best of China’s ancient civilization on this private full-day trip from Beijing to the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs. At the Great Wall, you’ll climb the Juyongguan section, one of the most strategically important sections of the wall. You’ll also explore the Ming Tombs, the burial ground of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors.