Yongling Museum

Entrance of Yongling Museum

Entrance of Yongling Museum, Chengdu
 Yongling Museum Pictures

Yongling Museum, located on Yongling Road in downtown Chengdu, Sichuan Province, is built on the foundations of Yongling Mausoleum, the only known above ground imperial tomb in China. It is widely known as the Tomb of Wang Jian (847 - 918), the founder of the Former Shu Regime in a chaotic period after the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). The Yongling Museum is popular among locals for the cultural relics discovered in it and the enchanting scenery in Yongling Park.


Yongling Mausoleum

Yongling Mausoleum has a circular base that measures 80 meters (262 feet) in diameter. The structure itself stands 15 meters (49 feet) tall with 14 archways made of gray bricks. Despite its ordinary look, the mausoleum is quite well known in archeology circles. Unlike other imperial tombs, the preponderance of this tomb rises over the ground. Somehow the mausoleum has long been mistakenly regarded as the Zither Playing Terrace, where Sima Xiangru, a gifted scholar in the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC - 9 AD), played zither to his lover Zhuo Wenjun. In 1942, the mausoleum was excavated by archeologists.

Yongling Mausoleum, Chengdu Inside the mausoleum

A broad sacred passage with stone sculpted columns on both sides will lead you to the mausoleum. Wooden doors partition the burial chamber into three sections. The former chamber serves as an aisle. In the middle chamber is the coffin platform of Wang Jian. The Murals of 24 Female Musicians and Dancers are carved onto three walls surrounding the platform. There are two dancers and 22 musicians with 20 kinds of regional instruments in their hands. Showing the scenes of an imperial court band during the late Tang Dynasty, the murals are valuable in learning about the history of China's music. Replicas of these murals are shown on walls on both sides of the tomb. Ji Yue Square is built to the southeast of the entrance to Yongling Museum, encircled by bronze statues of the 22 female musicians and dancers.

Wangjian Tomb The carvings in the mausoleum

A stone statue of Wang Jian sits on the stone bed in the back chamber. The bed itself is embossed with two dragons playing with a ball on the facet, and with lions on each side. The statue is apprized as a national cultural relic because it is exquisite and is the only stone statue of an emperor discovered in the tomb.


Yongling Exhibition Hall

Yongling Exhibition Hall is a three-floor modern building located at the north end of Yongling Mausoleum. The ground floor functions as a regular exhibition hall showcasing the culture of the Former and the Later Shu. It shows the rise and fall of these two regimes and an array of cultural relics discovered in Yongling Mausoleum. Valuable relics such as a jade belt, an imperial jade seal, and a silver bowl are displayed. Temporary exhibitions are held on the other two floors.

Yongling Museum is situated in Yongling Park, which boasts a tranquil atmosphere, enchanting landscapes, meandering paths and exquisite pavilions. So even if you are not interested in Chinese culture or archaeology, Yongling Museum is an ideal place for taking a walk.

How to get to Yongling Museum

1. Take Metro Line 4 to Kuanzhai Xiangzi (Wide and Narrow Alley) and get out at exit D; then walk northward for 1km (0.6 miles).
2. Take bus no. 30, 48, 54, or 341 to Yongling Road East, or you can take bus no. 42, 126, or 127 and get off at Yongling Lukou Station.
Chengdu Bus / Metro Search

Entrance Fee CNY 20 for the Yongling Mausoleum;
CNY10 for students with student ID card.
Free for other areas, but visitors should get a ticket for the exhibition hall at the entrance if they want to enter it.
 Note: All sections are free for children under 1.3m (4.3 feet).
Opening Hours 08:30 to 18:00 for the mausoleum and the exhibition hall.
6:30 - 22:00 for Yongling Park.
Recommended Time for a Visit Two hours

 Nearby Attractions:
 Wenshu Monastery
 Wide and Narrow Alley

media recommendationfeatured on media