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Zhaoling Mausoleum

Emperor Li Shimin
Zhaoling Mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor TaiZong of Tang Dynasty-Li Shimin. He was the second son of Li Yuan and Empress Wen Ye. He was originally conferred the title of Ch'in King and through the famous Xuanwu Gate Event he succeeded to be the Crown Prince and later be descent to throne fro 24 years as "Zhenguan Reign". Among all the emperors, he was one of the most brilliant rulers in Chinese history. He was recognized as an emperor of great talent and bold vision with his great achievements during his reigning time. He has contributed a lot on unifying the Tang Dynasty.

Why choose to set against the mountain?
Emperor Li Shimin established his tomb against Jiuzong Mountain. As a matter of fact, he set a leading card in building in this way of Tang Dynasty. It is said that before Emperor Wen De's death, she told Emperor TaiZong that her burial site should be placed against a mountain so that there would be no need to build a tomb. In the mausoleum against Jiuzong Mountain, there was no gold or jade or anything precious except for some earthen and woodenwares. These were placed here to pacify thieves; their existence or loss was not important. From the excavated parts of the mausoleum, we could now say that the whole project was extravagant but not thrifty. Therefore, in placing the tomb against the mountain they protected it from theft rather than the original propose as requested by the empress.

As the most typical imperial mausoleum in China, Zhaoling Mausoleum stands on the hilltop of Mt. Jiuzhong, 60 km northwest of Xi'an city. Although 14 of the satellite tombs have been excavated, the emperor's mausoleum itself has not. Covering an area of 87.5 square miles and constructed against mountains, the tomb chamber was built on a peak accessible by a 230-meter-long tunnel excavated through the mountain with five stone gates installed along. Rooms on both side of the tunnel contained

Zhaoling Museum
Zhaoling Museum has a collection of totally 42 vertical memorial tablets from both outside and interiors. And record said that initially there stood six bas-reliefs horses of Buddhist of great artistic value but now two had been shipped abroad. The museum also displays all the artifacts removed from the excavated satellite tombs. There is a splendid selection of superb ceramic figurines, wall paintings, and utensils.
The Zhaoling Museum was opened to the public in 1978, which appears to be another good tour choice today.


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