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Ming Tombs (Ming Shishan Ling), Beijing

(3.2/5 based on 750+ reviews on the web)
A complex of mausoleums housing the tombs of thirteen Ming emperors, Ming Tombs (Ming Shishan Ling) represents the largest imperial burial area in China and a World Heritage Site. Carefully laid out in line with feng shui principles, the tomb area covers 120 sq km (46.3 sq mi), each mausoleum occupying an independent section. Walk along the 7 km (4 mi) route leading you into the complex, flanked by guardian statues of camels, elephants, horses, and soldiers--at the end, its impressive gate ranks among the largest stone arches in China. Explore pavilions displaying imperial seals, scrolls, robes, and other regalia, and admire a huge statue of a turtle god carrying a memorial tablet. Note that only three out of 13 tombs are open to the public. Using our online itinerary creator, Beijing attractions like Ming Tombs (Ming Shishan Ling) can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I can't deny I felt a little disappointed... I was expecting something greater. I cant explain why, but I was... Hehehehehe. The place is indeed beautiful and full and history. There you can learn mor...  more »
  • An unexpected massive tomb complex on a par with the Great Pyramids. Magnificent and beautifully kept.  more »
  • We had a great time at this site. It was extremely interesting and well worth the tour. The buildings are amazing and I would go back in a heartbeat!  more »
Google
  • A very interesting place to visit . Especially when you realise that 12 of the tombs lie unexcavated under your feet . Only one tomb has been excavated , in the 1950's , and they decided to leave the others for now , until the resources and techniques are in place to preserve the things they will find . Everywhere else like this in the world has been plundered long ago , but the sense of glorious things under your feet awaiting discovery is very real here .
  • This is an amazing historical landmark about an hour from Beijing. If you're in the city for longer than a couple days this site is a must-see. The complex of tombs and buildings is enormous, though, so plan on spending a whole day here.
  • The day we visited the air was so clear so great to get out of the smog. The tombs are very interesting and the sites is well maintained
  • Hired a driver from our hotel to go to Great Wall Mutianyu and this Ming dynasty tomb. It's interesting but I won't go again. It's not the kind of place you'll want to visit again and again.
  • The Ming Tombs are located about 55 kilometers due north of urban Beijing at a specially selected site. The site was chosen by the third Ming Emperor Yongle (1402-1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing. He is credited with envisioning the layout of the ancient city of Beijing as well as a number of landmarks and monuments located therein. After the construction of the Forbidden City in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and created his own mausoleum. The Ming tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty were located on the southern slope of Tianshou Mountain. From the Yongle Emperor onwards, 13 Ming Emperors were buried in this area. The tombs of the first two Ming Emperors are located near Nanjing (the capital city then). Emperor Jingtai was also not buried here, as the Emperor Tianshun had denied Jingtai an imperial burial, but was instead buried in the west of Beijing. The last Ming Emperor Chongzhen, who hanged himself in April 1644, was the last to be buried in the tomb named Si Ling by the Qing emperor, but on a much smaller scale than his predecessors. During the Ming dynasty the tombs were off limits to commoners, but in 1644 Li Zicheng’s army ransacked and set many of the tombs on fire before advancing and capturing Beijing in April of that year.