Changling Mausoleum — the Largest Construction Scale,Earliest Construction Time, also the Best Preserved Buildings on the Ground among the Ming Tombs

Changling Mausoleum

Photo 1: Changling Mausoleum of the Ming Tombs, Beijing

        Changling Mausoleum is the Ancestor Tomb of the Ming Tombs, is the joint burial mausoleum of the third emperor Zhu Di and his empress Xu Shi of the Ming Dynasty.

the Lingen Gate

Photo 2:  the Lingen Gate of Changling Mausoleum

Lingen Hall

Photo 3: The Tall and Towering Lingen Hall of Changling Mausoleum

model of Lingen Hall

Photo 4: The Model of Lingen Hall in Changling Mausoleum

        Changling Mausoleum covers an area of about 120,000 square meters, the plane layout of Changling Mausoleum: the front is square and the back is circular. The square part consists of three courtyards connected in front and behind. There is an armpit gate on either side of the Lingen Gate of the second courtyard, The tall and towering Lingen Hall was built in the middle of the north inside the courtyard. This hall was used to enshrine and worship spirit tablets (memorial tablet) of the Emperors and Empresses and hold sacrificial ceremonies in the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Tower of Brightness

Photo 5: Tower of Brightness in Changling Mausoleum

        The daily furnishings in the sacrificial hall of the mausoleum are: Shen Ta (Ling Zuo, Kan Zhang), the spirit tablets of the emperors and empresses, Cebao, crowns and dresses, the throne, insense burner table and a variety of musical instruments. When the court sent officials to offer sacrifices, Zheng An, Cong An and Sansheng Anxia and so on for displaying offerings were added in the hall. The mausoleums of the Ming Dynasty have dual functions: worship and hold large-scale sacrifice activities, and burn incense sticks in normal times, offerings of four seasons and other daily worship rituals in the first and the fifteenth day of the lunar month. It has both the function of sleeping halls or rest palaces of the Western Han Dynasty mausoleum, and the function of Sacrificial halls for upper and lower two palaces of the Tang and Song Dynasty mausoleum. This Lingen Hall is the only preserved Ming Dynasty mausoleum until now, is called the precious relics of Chinese ancient wooden architecture, the preciousness manifests mainly in three aspects: firstly, the large scale and high level; secondly, the use of the exquisite materials,  the beams, columns, Fang, purlins, gold-plated brackets and other large and small wooden components in the hall are made of precious high-quality Phoebe; thirdly, it has an important historical and cultural value.

Divine Silk Burner

Photo 6: Divine Silk Burner of Changling Mausoleum

        On the left and right wings of Lingen Hall, 15 side halls (Lang Wu) were built respectively in the Ming Dynasty, destructed and demolished in the middle of the Qing Dynasty. Before the side halls, 1 Divine Silk Burner was built respectively, well preserved. Divine Silk Burner was assembled from the yellow, green glazed pieces, small and exquisite. The top of Divine Silk Burner is single-eave hiped-roof, the facades of the Burner are four Jia Leng Hua Geshan, there is Vaulted Door in the middle, small chambers are inside the door, which are used for burning sacrificial Shen Diao and Zhu Ban.

At the front of the third courtyard, Red Vaulted Door is set, like mausoleum gate, is the third door of the mausoleum. There are two-pillar archway and Shi Ji Yan in the direction of the central axis.


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