Dìng Líng

Dìng Líng information

Location
Ming Tombs , China
Prices
admission ¥65, audio guide ¥50
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Dìng Líng, the resting place of Emperor Wanli (1572–1620) and his wife and concubines, is at first sight less impressive than Cháng Líng because many of the halls and gateways have been destroyed. Many of the priceless artefacts were ruined after being left in a huge, unsealed storage room that leaked water. What treasures that were left – including the bodies of Emperor Wanli and his entourage – were looted and burned by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.

But this is the only tomb where you can climb down into the vast burial chambers. Learn from signs dotted around the tomb how archaeologists found their way in, à la Indiana Jones, by following instructions they discovered on a carved tablet.

The small Museum of the Ming Tombs (明十三陵博物馆; Míng Shísānlíng Bówùguǎn; inside the Dìng Líng complex; admission with Dìng Líng ticket), just inside the complex, contains a few precious remaining artefacts, plus replicas of destroyed originals.