Visit Eastern Qing Tombs in Spring

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The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, is around the corner. The festival falls on either 4 or 5 April, the 15th day after the Spring Equinox of a given year. Now it is a statutory public holiday in China. Basically, the week around 4 or 5 April is generally regarded as the festival period though officially people only have one day off for the holiday.

“Qingming” literally means”Clear and Bright”, suggesting the Qingming Festival is the time for people to go out and enjoy the greenery embracing the coming spring time. The Qingming Festival is also the time for people to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones and ancestors. In a word, the Qingming Festival is a time for people to enjoy the green spring and visit the graves of their deceased beloved ones.

If you happen to visit Beijing during the Qingming Festival, it is a good idea to visit the Eastern Qing Tombs to experience China’s ancestor veneration and tread in the greenery outside Beijing. Of course, you may come to the Eastern Qing Tombs any time, summer or autumn, also a good season to visit the site. The Qing Eastern Tombs are about 130km to the northeast of Beijing city center, and located in Zunhua, Hebei Province. Enlisted as World Cultural Heritage Site, the royal mausoleums in Qing Dynasty ( 1644 – 1911 ) are regarded as the largest, most complete and the best preserved imperial tombs in China.

The whole burial site is surrounded by the mountains on its four sides – Changrui Mountain, Jinxing Mountain, Huanghua Mountain, and Yingfei Daoyang Mountain, extending 80 square kilometers with good fengshui. Totally, five emperors in Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) – Shunzhi, Kangxi, Qianlong, Xianfeng, and Tongzhi, were buried here accompanied by 15 empresses, 136 imperial concubines, three princes, and two princesses of the Qing dynasty who were also buried here. The tomb of Ding Dongling was where Dowager Empress Cixi was buried.

Yuling is the tomb of the Qianlong Emperor, the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty(1644-1911), is considered the the most splendid one of all the royal tombs in Chinese history. It has a ornate and delicate chamber which is composed of nine vaults divided by four solid marble doors lying at a depth of 54 meters. All the walls, ceilings and gates are carved and painted with Buddhist figures and over 30,000 words of Tibetan scripture and Sanskrit.

The basic layout of the Eastern Qing Tombs is composed of three areas: spirit way, palaces, and offering kitchens. The Spirit Way is 6,000 meters long, much longer than the Spirit Way in the Ming Tombs in the suburban Beijing. Altogether, the construction of the whole mausoleum took 247 years ( 1661 – 1908).

Eastern Qing Tombs

Eastern Qing Tombs

How to get there
Entrance fee: 152 yuan ( including electric buggy service ).
Opening Hours: 08:30 -17:00)
Add: below Changrui Mountain in Zunhua City
Self-Drive Route(about 2 hours): Jingping Expressway (京平高速) -Jinyu Expressway (津蓟高速)- S302 Xibang Road (喜邦路).
Escorted Private Day Tour: Beijing Eastern Qing Tombs Day Tour

 

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