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Home Nanjing Attractions Nanjing Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Nanjing Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum Introduction


ming xiaoling mausoleum
ming xiaoling mausoleum
ming xiaoling mausoleum
ming xiaoling mausoleum
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Nanjing is the third greatest capital of ancient China next to Xian and Luoyang. Over the past decades of centuries, Nanjing as a capital of different dynasties or states suffered a lot. Davis Z.H., the CEO of Seeraa International and the descendant of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, is an expert of Ming Dynasty history and he says – the forgotten and unforgotten tombs and temples just tell us a historical truth, namely, Nanjing is a city lost in glorious culture and sorrowful history. This is an advisable conclusion of Nanjing in the past! The destiny of Nanjing maybe truly is mingled with failure, destruction and desperation. The mausoleum history shows the Nanjing history. The most typical representative of mausoleum is this theme – Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the founders’ tomb cluster of Ming Dynasty.

The History of Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum(明孝陵) is a shared tomb of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and his Wife with a surname of Ma, in other words, the multi-burial mausoleum of emperor and empress, the founders of Ming Dynasty. The mausoleum was built in 1381, and in 1382, Empress Ma passed away, and buried in this mausoleum. In 1398, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang passed away and buried in this mausoleum as well. In 1413, as the completion of The Stele of Godly Merit and Saintly Virtue of Xiaoling Mausoleum in Grand Ming Empire (大明孝陵神功圣德碑), the whole mausoleum area was entirely completed. So in history of Ming Dynasty, Nanjing served as the capital had a privilege in all aspects. The posthumous title of Empress was Xiao Ci(孝慈, filial piety and kindness), therefore , the mausoleum was named to Xiao Ling. It is the top one among the mausoleums of Ming Dynasty in Beijing and Nanjing, and stands for the top achievement of architectural art and stonecutting art in Ming Dynasty. The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum gives a direct influence to the final formation of imperial mausoleum design, a time of roughly 500 years, such as the Ming Tombs of Beijing, Chuangwang Mausoleum of Hubei province, Qing Mausoleum in Beijing, Liaoning province and Hebei province. All of these imperial mausoleums, approximately 20 imperial tombs, were all built following the convention of Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum.

In Nanjing, as the tourist attraction, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is as famous as Qinhuai River Scenic Area, and it is located at the south foot of Zijin Mountain, Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum on the east, Plum Blossom Mountain on the south, and it is also the largest imperial mausoleum in Nanjing and also one of the largest and most famous tombs of emperors throughout China. In 1961, it was written into the first batch of cultural sites under the national protection, and in 2003, it was inscribed into the list of World Heritage Site. And the depiction of UNESCO can be briefly summarized like this - The tomb follows the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory. They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture. The harmonious integration of remarkable architectural groups in a natural environment chosen to meet the criteria of geomancy (Fengshui) makes the Ming Imperial Tomb masterpieces of human creative genius. The imperial mausoleums are outstanding testimony to a cultural and architectural tradition that for over five hundred years dominated this part of the world; by reason of their integration into the natural environment, they make up a unique ensemble of cultural landscapes. The Tomb is dazzling illustrations of the beliefs, world view, and geomantic theories of Fengshui prevalent in feudal China. It served as burial edifices for illustrious personages and as the theatre for major events that have marked the history of China.

The Historical Sites of Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Up to today, it has a history over 600 years. The whole panoramic look is still grand and magnificent, and the underground tomb zone is absolutely well preserved, though lots of architectural sites have been destroyed during the war between Qing administration and Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in 1853, or the wooden parts have been non-existent. The main architectural sites and the stone-carvings in mausoleum are typically comprised of the Fangcheng(方城, the square city), Minglou(明楼, the soul tower), Baocheng(宝城, the precious castle), Baoding(宝顶, the precious dome), Great Golden Gates, Giant Stone Tortoise, Shengong Shengde Stele(The Stele of Godly Merit and Saintly Virtue), The Sacred Way, Lingxing Gate. The special design of front memorial hall and the rear tomb zone as well as three lines of halls, reflects the traditional discipline of social institutions, and emphasizes the imperial authority and politics. The design follows a tradition from imperial mausoleums of former dynasties, which is building mausoleum backing on the mountain.

The Stele of Zhilong Tangsong(治隆唐宋碑) lies in imperial stele pavilion. There are five valuable steles in pavilion, and the middle one is this stele, which was inscribed by Emperor Kang Xi, the most famous Emperor of Qing Dynasty, the successor of Ming Dynasty, during his third Jiangnan inspection in 1699. The basic meaning of the character is to eulogize the great administration of Emperor Hongwu(朱元璋) was better than that of Emperor Taizong (李世民) in Tang Empire and Emperor Taizu(赵匡胤) in Song Empire, both of who are historically considered as the most powerful and respectable Emperors of feudal China. Obviously, it is a flattering word, but it really embodies the concentration of Emperor Kangxi to the relation between Han people and Manchu people. All his life, Emperor Kangxi had six inspections in Jiangnan region, and for five times, he specially paid a formal visit to Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and kept the top ritual of moving and kneeling nine times to kowtow in order to show his great worship to Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. This is quite effective, and lots of Han people were deeply touched by his activities, and the conflicts between too peoples were vividly relieved.

 The Highlighted Attractions of Nanjing

Nanjing Museum Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum Qinhuai River Scenic Area Nanjing Brocade Museum
Nanjing Museum Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum Qinhuai River Scenic Area Nanjing Brocade Museum
Nanjing Qixia Temple Nanjing Jiming Temple Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall Presidential Palace
Nanjing Qixia Temple Nanjing Jiming Temple Nanjing Massacre Memorial Presidential Palace

 The Travel Guide of Nanjing

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Nanjing Travel Nanjing Tours Nanjing Attractions Nanjing Travel Tips

Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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