Changling -- Emperor Yongles Tomb
Introduction of Changling
Changling is the head tomb of the thirteen Ming tombs, and also the largest one of all. The third Ming Emperor Zhu Di, whose reign title was Yongle, was buried here together with his wife, Empress Xu. He ruled for 22 years from 1402 to 1424, and made great achievements in political, military, economic, cultural and diplomatic fields.
Changling, built from 1409 to 1427, is located at the foot of the Heavenly Longevity Hill.
The buildings are square in the front part and round in the rear, representing earth and heaven respectively. For earth was believed to be square and heaven round. It is divided into three courtyards and the main buildings arranged on the central axis are still standing there.
Lingen Hall (the Hall of Eminent Favor)
Lingen Hall also called offerings hall, used to be the place to keep memorial tablets inscribed with the names of deceased emperors. Sacrificial ceremonies were held here too. The hall is supported by 60 pillars made of nanmu (phoebe nanmu). Discover more...
The soul Tower
The soul Tower was built at the top of Square City in front of the earth mound. It is the mark of an imperial tomb. Above the gate is a plaque inscribed with the name of the tomb, and inside the tower is a stone tablet carved with characters Tomb of Emperor Cheng Zu of the Great Ming, Cheng Zu being the posthumous title of Emperor Yongle.
Human Sacrifice in Changling
According to historical records, there were 16 imperial concubines buried alive in the east and west pits as funeral objects of the emperor. They were called pits because they were vertical shafts without horizontal tunnels. Discover more...