Dingling Tomb

Located in the southern foot of Tianshou Mountain in Changping County of Beijing, Dingling Tomb is the mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yijun (1563 - 1620) of Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and his two empresses, Empress Xiaoduan and Empress Xiaojing. Zhu Yijun was the thirteenth emperor and occupied the throne for 48 years, the longest among all of the emperors of the Ming Dynasty. Built over six years between 1584 and 1590, the tomb, which covers an area of 180,000 square meters (44 acres), is of great historical value, attracting millions of tourists from home and abroad every year.
Dingling Tomb of Ming Dynasty
Dingling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty
 Pictures of Dingling Tomb

The Aboveground Part of Dingling Tomb

The aboveground part of Dingling Tomb presents a square front and circular rear construction layout, symbolizing the ancient Chinese philosophical concept of "heaven is round and the earth is square". Three white marble stone bridges lead you to the entrance of Dingling Tomb, where you will see a high tablet pavilion. Further back, there is an enclosing wall named Wailuo Wall around the mausoleum. At the axis position of the wall a palace gate was set, which is the first door. The yellow glazed tiles, eaves, archway, rafters and columns are all sculptured from stone, and colorfully painted. Inside the Wailuo Wall, there are three courtyards in the square front part, and the Treasure City in the circular rear part. The first courtyard has no buildings and facilities, but three Divine Kitchens on the left side outside the courtyard, and three Divine Storerooms on the right side. The gate of the second courtyard is named Blessing and Grace Gate (Ling’en Gate). There is a base with railings, and the top of the railings are decorated with stone dragon heads and phoenix heads. The Blessing and Grace Palace (Ling’en Palace) is in the third courtyard. It is the place for making sacrifice to Emperor Zhu Yijun and his two empresses. The stone road in the middle of the courtyard is engraved with a dragon and a phoenix playing with a pearl. The third courtyard has a two-column archway door called Lingxing Gate and a few stone tables on which sacrificial items are placed. The circular rear part has the Treasure City, where Emperor Zhu Yijun and his two empresses were buried. It is covered with earth and the middle part stands out, looking like a round castle.
Way to Dingling Underground Palace
Way to Dingling Underground Palace
Emperor Zhu Yijun and His Two Empresses
Emperor Zhu Yijun and His Two Empresses

The Underground Palace in Dingling Tomb

The underground part is the Underground Palace, which was unearthed between 1956 and 1958. It is the most valuable part of Dingling Tomb. The palace really deserves a careful visit as it is the only unearthed palace of the Thirteen Imperial Tombs of Ming Dynasty. Starting from the ground, after more than 40 meters (130 feet) of the underground tunnel, you can access to the hidden palace. The stone structure of the palace is a representative style of the Ming Dynasty. The entire palace is divided into five communicant vaulted halls: the front, the middle, the rear, the left and the right halls, among which the rear hall is the main and largest. The entrance of each hall is made of sculptured jade, and the floors are covered with gilded bricks. In the middle of each hall is a white marble coffin. On each coffin there is a square hole called Gold Well filled with loess. A paved path leads to the central hall where there are three white marble thrones, in front of which incense, candles and flowers were set. Before each of them, there are the glazed Five Offerings and a blue china jar that would have been filled with sesame oil to be used for lamps. The coffins of Emperor Zhu Yijun and his two empresses are in the rear hall. There are also some precious items displayed with these coffins, such as jades, vases, red lacquer boxes, golden crown, silver, silk and so on. The Underground Palace unearthed a total of over 3,000 pieces of cultural relics, including four national treasures: the gold imperial crown, the gold empress crown, glowing pearl and tri-colored glazed pottery of the Ming Dynasty. These relics are all stored in the Dingling Tomb Museum.
Jade-handle Cup
Jade-handle Cup Unearthed
Gold Imperial Crown
Gold Imperial Crown

 Pictures of unearthed relics from Dingling Underground Palace

After touring around, we recommend visiting the Sacred Way, Changling Tomb and Zhaoling Tomb, which are all nearby.


How to get to Dingling Tomb

1. Take subway Changping Line to Changping Dongguan Station, and then transfer to bus 314 to the tomb.
2. Take bus 872 from Deshengmen Bus Station to the destination.
3. Take bus 345 Express or 886 from Deshengmen West Station, get off at Changping Dongguan Station, and then take bus 314, or Chang 67 to the tomb.
4. Take Bus 879 from Badaling Great Wall to the tomb.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Entrance Fee April to October: CNY 60;
November to March: CNY 40.
Note: Free for children under 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).
Opening Hours April to October: 8:00-17:30;
November to March: 8:30-17:00.
- Last updated on Nov. 30, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on Dingling Tomb
Asked by trevar from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 19, 2015 20:09Reply
i was looking for souvenir of DingLing tombs as i enjoyed visit there but never found any dvd
Answers (1)
Answered by Michelle from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 19, 2015 23:44

Hey, as I know, there is a Boutique Shopping Center to the south of the main entrance. You can buy souvenirs such as artwork, jade, book and others in the shopping center.
Asked by Mikael from DENMARK | Aug. 29, 2014 07:49Reply
Where exactly does bus Y9 stop at Qianmen in Beijing?
Walked around looking for it today, but if there is a sign its either in chinese or I missed it. A map with a big red X would be nice. ;-)
Answers (3)
Answered by Jim from IRAN | Aug. 29, 2014 20:06

The bus will not stop at Qianmen, that’s why you cannot find it. The Line Y9 only operates in Yanqing District. Maybe you can tell me where you want to go, so I can give you detailed info.
Answered by Mikael from DENMARK | Aug. 31, 2014 03:34

Dingling tomb.
Answered by Leo from FRANCE | Aug. 31, 2014 04:51

Well then, you can walk from Qianmen to Tiananmen East Square bus stop to take bus no. 5 and get off at Deshengmen. Then you can easily transfer to bus no. 872 to your destination directly.
Asked by Vitalii from RUSSIA | Jun. 22, 2014 03:27Reply
Nanshao subway station in Beijing
Hi! Can I get to Changling tomb from Nanshao station? I see there are 870 & 925 bus routes.
Answers (2)
Answered by Jane from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 22, 2014 05:01

You can suggested to take bus line Chang 11 to Changping Xiguan Station and then take bus line 878 to Changling Station.

From Nanshao Station to Changling, there is around 10km, so you can also take a taxi to reach directly. The taxi fare is around 30 to 40RMB.
Answered by Jjshur from USA | Jul. 21, 2015 00:42

Much faster to go to nanshao then take taxi or bus. Saves you much time.
Asked by Jerlyn from SINGAPORE | Apr. 21, 2014 10:58Reply
Is it true u shd get down at Tiantongyuan North station, and Changping bus 23 to reach Dingling tomb?
how long will that be?
Answers (1)
Answered by Melissa from MALAYSIA | Apr. 21, 2014 22:34

Currently, the bus line Changping line 23 is out of service and you need to take Changping 22 to reach Dingling Station. The bus takes around two hours and forty minutes.
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