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Ming Tombs

Ming Tombs in Beijing

The Ming Tombs lie in Changping County, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest from the urban area of Beijing. It is actually a tomb cluster of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), including thirteen emperor's mausoleums, seven tombs for concubines and one grave for eunuchs. This cemetery is world famous because of the thirteen emperors buried here. Sitting at the foot of Mt. Yan and occupying an area of more than 120 square kilometers (29,653 acres), it appears extremely spectacular. It was listed in the World Heritage List in 2003.

Each emperor's tomb was constructed at the foot of a separate small hill, but they all share a main road called the Sacred Way. The thirteen emperor's mausoleums are similar in their architectural style and overall arrangement, only differing in size and complexity of their structures. They used to have a forecourt where memorial ceremonies and sacrifices were held and a tomb mound at the back. Comparatively speaking, Changling (Chang Tomb) is the most grand, Yongling (Yong Tomb) the most delicate and Siling (Si Tomb) the smallest.

Ming Tombs MapNowadays, the Sacred Way, Changling (Chang Tomb), Dingling (Ding Tomb) and Zhaoling (Zhao Tomb) are accessible to visitors.

The Sacred Way is seven kilometers (4.3 miles) long and leads to Changling (Chang Tomb) directly. Chang Tomb is the largest and oldest of the tombs. Construction on the mausoleum began in 1409 and lasted four years. Buried here are Zhu Di, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, and his empress. The forecourt has three courtyards and all the halls are covered with yellow glaze tiles on their roofs. The second yard was built after the Hall of Supreme Harmony of the Forbidden City. It is one of the largest wooden buildings in China and is supported by sixty unpainted poles made of nanmu. Unearthed objects are on display in this hall. Behind is a tower called Ming Lou (Bright Tower), the symbol of Chang Tomb. It connects the burial mound, the circumference of which reaches approximately one kilometer (0.6 mile).

Dingling (Ding Tomb) is the only one excavated in this graveyard up till now. Zhu Yijun, the thirteenth emperor of the Ming Dynasty was inhumed together with his two empresses. Constructed between 1584 and 1590, this mausoleum used to have bridges, a stele pavilion, halls and towers and annexes on the ground. Hundreds of years later, only a stone tower, Bright Tower, survives following several fires. Behind the tower is the underground palace, 27 meters (88.6 feet) in depth. Visitors may enter via a tunnel. The stone palace occupies an area of 1,195 square meters (0.3 acre) and has five halls. Gates of the main halls are made of white marble, with fine thrones in the central hall, coffins and burial chests at the rear hall. Some precious articles excavated are on exhibition like crowns, ornaments, and utensils.

 Entrance to Ming Tombs of Beijing Ding Tomb in Ming Tombs, Beijing 

Built in 1538, Zhaoling (Zhao Tomb) lies to the southwest of Ding Tomb. It is the mausoleum of Zhu Zaihou (the twelfth emperor of the Ming Dynasty and his three empresses. It is the best representation of a tomb complex because of its fully restored complete surface structures, consisting of four bridges, a stele pavilion and halls. At Ling'endian (Hall of Eminent Favor), offerings and information on this emperor and his empresses may be seen.

Scenic Spots
Admission Fee
Opening Hours
April 1-October 31
November1-March 31
Sacred Way
CNY 30
CNY 20
CNY 45
CNY 30
CNY 60
CNY 40
CNY 30
CNY 20
Bus Route:

Take Tourist bus No. 872 from Deshengmen to Changling directly;
Take bus No. 880 from Deshengmen to the South Gate of Ming Huang La Xiang Gong, and then transfer to bus No. 314 to the Ming Tombs.

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Comments and Questions

how v can come back to Wangfujjing / Deshengmen / Beijing North station from Ming Tomb. pl. guide us in detail

Reply6/3/2014 8:52:52 AMrita,   India

Lily ( Australia ) :6/4/2014 9:19:41 PM

From the tombs, you can take a taxi to reach Chang Ping Xi Guan Huan Dao Xi (Xiguan Huandao West) Station to take the bus line 919 to go back to Deshengmen Station.

Then walk to the Jishuitan Subway Station to take the line 2 to Jianguomen Station and change to line 1 to Wangfujing Station.

What are the main tombs and worth visiting at Ming Tombs?

Reply5/24/2013 7:58:54 AMLinda,   China

Bonnie :5/24/2013 7:21:09 PM

the Sacred Way, Changling (Chang Tomb), and Dingling (Ding Tomb) are the popular sites.

Linda ( China ) :5/24/2013 8:26:51 PM

Awesome! Thanks Bonnie!!

Many years ago, we visited the Dingling tombs, but I don't remember being on the Sacred Way. Do trips/tours to Dingling usually include the Sacred Way?

Since the Sacred Way leads to the Changling Tomb, do all tours to Changling include the Sacred Way?

Is the Sacred Way only accessible by foot, and not by coach/car?


Reply8/29/2012 1:38:44 AMTraveller,   United States

Lisa :8/29/2012 7:16:24 PM

the Sacred way is a seperate attraction, and some tours to Dingling include it, but some not.
tours to Changling usually include it.
there are sight-seeing cars that you can take.

tickets are so expensive!!

Reply2/16/2009 12:53:00 AMyuki japan,   Japan

sajeev ( China ) :1/31/2011 7:00:00 AM

they say that the ticket is 30 RMB, is 30 RMB expensive or is it something else?

Bruce :1/31/2011 8:09:00 PM

CNY30 is only the tickets for Ming Changling Tomb.

Crystal ( Canada ) :8/15/2011 2:45:44 PM

RMB is the currency in china.

what would a tomb from the Ming dynasty be worth

Reply12/13/2010 1:49:00 PMMarcy,   United States

Windy :12/19/2010 8:47:00 PM

it is a group tomb for 13 emperors and their wives.

You need a guide to explain it then you can appreciate its worth

Reply11/12/2010 4:10:00 AMMike,   United Arab Emirates

beijing has lots of better things to see.... this isnt one of the best, but if you're staying for quite a long time like me and would like to enjoy a bite of chinese history, spending one day to ming tombs might worth it

Reply6/6/2009 3:04:00 AMblessed,   China

This is seriously no good... easily the worst attraction in beijing, takes you 10 minutes to get through it and really nothing to see. Save your time and go and get some peking duck to eat instead...

Reply4/18/2009 9:44:00 AMBrian,   Australia

This is so cool

Reply1/23/2009 1:08:00 PMjojo,   Bermuda

ticket is too cheap!!!!!

Reply1/15/2009 12:03:00 AMfool,   China