The Ming Tombs
13 of the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty are buried in underground palaces near Beijing. Only one of the tombs has been excavated, Ding Ling (translated, that means Tomb of Stability), the tomb of the Wanli Emperor. He ruled from 1572-1620.
This was our next stop after having lunch near the Great Wall.
This is the approach to the tomb.
Excavation of the tomb began in 1956 and concluded in 1957.
How about those trees growing right out of the wall? They're Deerhorn Cedars.
The sign below points the way to the underground palace.
After going down about 4 flights of stairs, you arrive in the palace.
One of several thrones down here. That's money that people have tossed onto the seat. And our guide Jesse behind the throne.
This is the rear chamber, the burial chamber where the Emperor's & his 2 Empresses' coffins were placed. 26 wooden cases of burial articles were placed here as well, containing silk, jade, textiles, porcelin & jewelry.
The red containers here are replicas of the originals. Many of the items in the containers decayed after the excavation, which was not handled with the greatest care.
Above is another of the underground chambers. More thrones. Below is the way out, through the large doors.
Nine is an important number to the Chinese people, and this door has 9 columns & 9 rows of 9 knobs.
Looking back, below, at the Soul Tower, through which you pass exiting the underground palace.
Inside the museum here is a bell which used to be rung by the tomb's guards
as well as replicas of he many items found in the burial chamber. This is a jade headress adorned with dragons & phoenix-es.
The next stop is The Sacred Way.
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