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.
|Stele on a Turtle |
in Dingling Tomb
|Imperial Path with |
|Dingling Tomb of Emperor |
Zhu Yijun of Ming Dynasty
Pictures 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 || |
|Emperor Zhu Yijun and His Two Empresses |
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 Unearthed || |
|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.
1. Take subway Changping Line to Changping Dongguan Station, and then transfer to bus 314 to the tomb.
2. Take bus 872 from Deshengmen 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, 925, or Chang 67 to the tomb.
4. Take Bus 879 from Badaling Great Wall to the tomb.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
|Admission Fee ||April 1 to October 31: CNY 65; |
November 1 to next March 31: CNY 45
|Opening Hours ||April 1 to October 31: 8:30-17:30; stop selling tickets at 17:30 |
November 1 to next March 31 8:30-17:00; stop selling tickets at 17:00