Steeped in history, the Ming Tombs (or Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty) near Beijing are not to be missed and offer insights into the country’s rich heritage.
Be Based in Beijing
This site is at Tianshou Mountain around 50 km from Beijing City. There is no direct bus or subway there so a car hire may be a good idea. For those looking for service apartments in Beijing, Chaoyang District makes an ideal base; consider properties like Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing from which you can easily plan excursions.
Origins of the Tombs
The history of the Ming Tombs dates to 1409, when the Ming Dynasty’s third emperor, Emperor Yongle, constructed his Changling Tomb at this site. Subsequently, covering over two centuries, 12 other emperors also had their tombs built here and this attraction is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Layout and Design
Covering a vast area, the Ming Tombs (except the Siling Tomb) have been built in a way that they branch out on both sides from the Changling Tomb. Only three tombs are open to the public, namely the Changling, Dingling and Zhaoling tombs, each varying in size and design, offering something different to see.
What to Expect
To enter the site, one must walk along the Sacred Way which has many attractions as well such as the Great Red Gate and Five-arch Bridge. On your exploration of the tombs and the area, you will also come across huge animal and human sculptures, stone thrones, artefacts, an underground palace and museums too.