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Ming Tombs are about 13 tombs in Ming Dynasty where 13 out of 16 emperors in Ming Dynasty were buried successively there. There were totally 16 emperors in Ming Dynasty. Why 13 emperors were buried there? Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty was buried in the Xiaoling Mausoleum in Nanjing; Zhu Yunwen, the Emperor Jianwen disappeared and Zhu Qiyu, the Emperor Jingtai was buried at Jinshan Hill in the western suburbs of Beijing. All other 13 Ming Emperors were buried in this tomb area, hence the area being called the 13 Ming Tombs.
Of all the 13 Ming Tombs, at present only 3 Ming Tombs are open to the public, namely Dingling, Changling and Zhaoling ( “ling” literally means “Tomb” in Chinese). So before you are going to visit Ming Tombs, you’d better know which of the 3 tombs you should visit, which are located separately quite a disance. The three tombs are also a little different in terms of ticket prices and value.
Of the 3 Ming Tombs opend to the public, only Dingling ( often called Undeground Palace) has been excavated. There is down a long staircase into a chamber with some stone thrones and a few large plain red boxes which are the burial caskets in the so called underground palace.
Spring is the best time of year to visit, when the area surrounding the vaults is alive with trees and blooming flowers. It is a good place to visit if you are interested in dynastic history.
There are just 2 tombs which have been excavated and open to the public: Dingling and Changling. Changling is the first tomb to be built. It took 2 years for renovation, and was opened in 1958. Dingling has been excavated so thoroughly that one has to get into the burial chamber itself. However, it is a very steep climb down and people who have problems with their heart or kneels are not suggested to visit the underground tomb. For wheel-chair users or those who don't want to go deep inside a tomb, We recommend Changling Tomb. fei