The Eastern Qing Tombs: A Glimpse into Imperial China

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Unveiling Secrets: Eastern Qing Tombs’ Hidden Treasures

The Eastern Qing Tombs are a hidden treasure located near Zunhua City in Hebei Province, just 125 kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Beijing.

This special place covers about 80 square kilometers, which is really, really big!

Step Back in Time

Imagine a place where emperors and queens rest, stretching back over 247 years of history.

Construction started way back in 1661 in Qing Dynasty, and the area is now home to more than 200 impressive buildings and 15 special gardens where emperors, queens, and other royal family members are buried.

It’s like stepping into a storybook with 5 emperors, 15 queens, and many more royals finding their peaceful rest here.

Why You’ll Love It

The Eastern Qing Tombs are not just any ordinary place; they are one of the largest and best-kept secrets where China’s past emperors and their families rest.

With a huge area for burials and lots of historic buildings, it’s like a giant outdoor museum waiting to be explored.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Explore the Tombs’ Rich History

Embark on a journey through the rich history of the tombs, where centuries-old stories of royalty are etched into the landscape.

Explore the final resting places of emperors and queens, and uncover the tales that have shaped the legacy of these sacred grounds.

The Beginning
  • 1661-1668: It all started with the Xiaoling Tomb for Emperor Shunzhi. Imagine building a huge tomb that took 7 years! Later, the Kangxi Emperor added a special monument, making it even more impressive.
The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Expanding the Royal Resting Places
  • 1674-1725: Next up, the Jingling and Zhaoxiling Tombs were created. This was when Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang and Empress Xiaochengren were honored with their final resting places. It was a busy time of remembering and celebrating the lives of these important figures.
A New Direction
  • 1693-1729: Then came the Xiaodongling Tomb, chosen by the Yongzheng Emperor. He had a big idea to start using the Eastern Qing Tombs for royal burials, and even began thinking about starting the Western Qing Tombs. Big plans for a big dynasty!
A Century of Construction
  • 1739-1799: The Qianlong Emperor was busy, too, building more tombs like the Jingling Empress Dowager Garden Tomb and the Yuling Tomb. He made sure there was enough space for everyone in the royal family to have a beautiful resting place.
A Royal Decision
  • 1796: The Qianlong Emperor decided to switch things up by alternating burials between the Eastern and Western sites. Talk about planning ahead!
Overcoming Challenges
  • 1821-1828: Lastly, the Muling Tomb was built but then had to be abandoned because of water problems. Even emperors face obstacles!
The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Experience the Magic

Step into a world where history and mystique blend seamlessly, offering a unique experience that captivates the senses.

Feel the magic that permeates through ancient walls and gardens, transporting you to an era of grandeur and legend.

Harmony with Nature

The Eastern Qing Tombs are a masterpiece of balance and beauty, following strict rules of ceremony and the ancient wisdom of feng shui.

Imagine designing a place so carefully that every building, mountain, and road fits together perfectly.

That’s exactly what they did! The tombs are set up to match the natural landscape, creating a peaceful and powerful place.

A Majestic Journey

At the heart of it all is the Xiaoling Mausoleum, surrounded by three important mountains.

These mountains aren’t just random; they’re chosen to bring good energy and protection.

To connect these mountains and make the tomb feel even more grand, they built a 6-kilometer-long spirit road.

It’s like a path guiding you through a story of

  • nature,
  • history,
  • and architecture.
Three Parts of an Epic Journey
  1. The Welcoming Path: The journey starts with a big, beautiful stone archway and a monument that celebrates the emperor’s life. With Mount Jinxing and Mount Yingbi framing the scene, it’s like walking into a painting.
  2. The Middle Passage: This part is about 3.5 kilometers of gentle paths, with stone statues and special gates that seem to whisper stories of the past. It’s designed to make you feel calm and connected to the flat, open land around you.
  3. The Grand Finale: The last stretch leads to the treasure dome, where the main ceremonies took place. The buildings here rise up, reaching towards the sky, just like the surrounding mountains. It’s a powerful end to a magical journey, filled with beauty and meaning.
The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

The Design Philosophy

The creation of Emperor Shunzhi’s tomb heralded a transformative era in the architectural design of royal tombs, introducing a unified and sacred blueprint that would be replicated in subsequent constructions.

This design philosophy embodies a deep respect for the departed, ensuring their legacy is preserved through meticulously planned structures that facilitate both reverence and ritual.

Blueprint Basics

After Emperor Shunzhi’s big tomb was built, all the royal tombs got a special design.

They have a spirit road, a place for ceremonies, and a kitchen and storage area for rituals.

Spirit Road Journey

The spirit road is a path filled with cool structures, leading to the tomb.

It starts with a big arch and goes through places where visitors can admire achievements and remember the emperor.

Ceremony Central

The ceremony area is where the main tomb events happen.

It goes from the entrance to the burial spot, with rooms for prayers, offerings, and ends with a special dome over the tomb.

Prep Area

Next to the ceremony spot, there’s a kitchen and storage for making food and keeping ritual items.

It’s all set up for big ceremonies.

Unique Designs

Every building has a unique look, with special roofs and tiles. This makes each tomb not only a resting place but also a work of art.

Changes Over Time

Newer tombs changed a bit but kept the main ideas. Some simplified their designs, but all aimed to respect and remember the emperors in a grand way.

These tombs are more than just graves; they’re a mix of art, tradition, and nature, showing deep respect for history and the past.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Uncover the First Tomb: Qing Xiaoling

Imagine a grand tomb that’s like a treasure chest from history, unopened and full of secrets!

Qing Xiaoling is the very first tomb built inside the Great Wall for Emperor Shunzhi, the cool ruler who started the

Qing Dynasty’s story.

This place is special because it holds not just one, but three important people: Emperor Shunzhi and his two empresses.

Instead of coffins, they have something called “treasure palaces” because they followed a unique tradition.

Building Qing Xiaoling

Picking the perfect spot for Qing Xiaoling was Emperor Shunzhi’s idea.

But, because of wars and other troubles, they couldn’t start building until after he passed away.

They even had to recycle materials from old buildings to make this amazing tomb.

It took a bit of time, from 1661 to about 1673, but they created a place worthy of an emperor.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Qing Jingling: A Tomb with a Twist

Now, let’s talk about Qing Jingling, the final resting place of Emperor Kangxi, a superstar of the Qing Dynasty.

This tomb broke the mold with new rules: it was the first to invite an emperor’s concubine to share his final resting place, switched from cremation to burial, and had a “wait for me” policy for the empress, keeping the stone gate open.

The Story of Qing Jingling

Emperor Kangxi had a lot on his plate and waited a bit before thinking about his tomb.

After the death of Empress Xiaocheng, he said, “It’s time!” and picked a spot close to Qing Xiaoling. Building started in 1676, and by 1681, they had a magnificent mausoleum ready.

Unfortunately, a lightning strike in 1952 damaged it, but don’t worry, they fixed it up by 2018, making it awesome again.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Discover Qing Yuling!

Step into Qing Yuling, the majestic final resting place of Emperor Qianlong, one of the most famous emperors ever!

This tomb, located in a special spot called Shengshuiyu, is a grand creation that took nine years to build, from 1743 to 1752, and it cost a whopping 1.78 million taels of silver. That’s a lot of treasure!

Qing Yuling’s Story

In 1742, Emperor Qianlong picked this beautiful place for his tomb, and by 1752, it was all set.

But in 1928, a villain named Sun Dianying broke into the tomb, and it was a big deal around the world.

Don’t worry, though; in 1975, the good guys cleaned it up, fixed everything by 1977, and then opened it for everyone to see in 1978.

Now it’s a place where we can learn and remember the past.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Journey to Qing Dingling!

Qing Dingling is where Emperor Xianfeng, a ruler who faced lots of challenges, rests.

This tomb is tucked away in a serene valley called Ping’an, still waiting for visitors to explore.

Even with the country’s ups and downs, Emperor Xianfeng started building his tomb right after becoming emperor, showing how important these places were for them.

It took seven years and a giant treasure of over 3.13 million taels of silver to complete.

The Tale of Qing Dingling

Building Qing Dingling wasn’t easy, especially with the Second Opium War going on.

After Emperor Xianfeng passed away in 1861, they rushed to finish the tomb so he and Empress Dowager Cixi could have a peaceful place to rest.

They temporarily stayed in Longfu Temple until Dingling was ready in 1865.

It’s a reminder of their dedication and respect for tradition, even in tough times.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Unveiling Qing Huiling

Dive into the world of Qing Huiling, the final royal resting place within the Eastern Qing Tombs.

This special tomb belongs to Emperor Tongzhi, hidden away in Shuangshanyu, and is still a secret spot, not open for everyone just yet.

The architects chose nanmu, a super tough and fancy wood, for the main parts, making it extra special. B

uilding this mausoleum was a huge project, costing over 4.3 million taels of silver, plus more for the concubines’ places!

Qing Huiling’s Legacy

Even though Emperor Tongzhi never picked a spot for his tomb during his reign, after he passed away in 1874, everyone agreed it was time to build something magnificent for him.

They carefully chose Shuangshanyu for its auspicious vibes, and from 1875 to 1878, they worked hard to create Huiling. I

n 1879, Emperor Tongzhi and Empress Dowager Ci’an were laid to rest there, with big names like Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi paying their respects.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Explore Filial Piety Eastern Mausoleum!

Just a stone’s throw away from the Filial Piety Mausoleum, the Filial Piety Eastern Mausoleum is a hidden gem in the Eastern Qing Tombs.

It’s the exclusive annex for the queens and a pioneer in royal consort burials from the Qing Dynasty.

This place is the eternal home for Empress Xiao Hui Zhang, Emperor Shunzhi’s consort, and 28 other remarkable women from the royal court.

The Story Behind It

Built by the 32nd year of Emperor Kangxi’s reign in 1693 and first known as the “New Mausoleum,” it was later named after Empress Xiao Hui Zhang in 1718 when she was interred there.

By 1719, it got its grand title, the Filial Piety Eastern Mausoleum, marking a significant chapter in the dynasty’s history.

Both of these mausoleums tell incredible tales of love, respect, and the intricate traditions of the Qing Dynasty.

They remind us of the rich history that shaped today’s world, inviting us to imagine the lives and times of those who came before us.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Zhaoxi Mausoleum Overview

The Zhaoxi Mausoleum is dedicated to Empress Dowager Xiao Zhuang.

It’s located south of the Eastern Qing Tombs, outside the main area, and isn’t open to the public.

This mausoleum stands out due to its high, flat terrain and quality soil.

Hidden History

Empress Dowager Xiao Zhuang passed away in 1687 and was initially meant to be buried in Shenyang.

However, Emperor Kangxi honored her wish to be interred in the Eastern Tombs, establishing the Zhaoxi Mausoleum in 1725.

Her coffin was moved there 37 years after her death, making it a special site within the Eastern Qing Tombs.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Dingxi Mausoleum Overview

The Dingxi Mausoleum houses Empresses Dowager Ci’an and Ci’xi, located east of Emperor Xianfeng’s Ding Mausoleum.

Ci’an’s tomb is in Puxiang Valley, and Ci’xi’s in Putuo Valley. Currently, only Ci’xi’s tomb is open to visitors.

The Story

Construction began in 1866 and finished in 1908, taking 42 years.

The site was carefully chosen for its proximity to Emperor Xianfeng’s resting place, emphasizing the connection and respect for the Empresses Dowager within the Qing Dynasty’s burial traditions.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Explore Yuling Consort’s Garden Tomb!

Created for Empress Qianlong’s family, located west of Yuling.

It began in 1747 and expanded in 1760 for Pure Consort Hui.

It’s filled with walls, gates, bridges, halls, and green tiles, looking like a royal mini-city.

Inside, 36 royals are buried, including famous empresses.

Visitors can explore the underground areas of Pure Consort Hui and Consort Rong, offering a peek into Qing Dynasty history.

Discover Dingling Consort’s Garden Tomb!

Built in 1865 for Emperor Xianfeng’s consorts near Dingling. It cleverly uses recycled materials, surrounded by a big red wall, featuring bridges and domes.

Home to 15 consorts, this private tomb remains closed to the public, preserving its tales.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

See Hui Ling Consort’s Garden Tomb!

Similar to Dingling’s tomb but for Emperor Tongzhi’s consorts. It showcases beautiful architecture with green tiles.

Four noble ladies rest here, each with a unique dome.

This historical tomb is not open to visitors, respecting its tranquility.

Visit the Princess’s Garden Tomb!

Unique in the Qing Eastern Tombs, dedicated to Princess Duanmin Gulun, Emperor Daoguang’s daughter.

Her tomb matches empresses’ in grandeur, showing deep love.

Open to all, it lets visitors witness the beauty of Qing royal burials.

The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Highlights of the Visit:

  • ✅ Explore the longest and best-preserved spirit road in China, stretching over 6000 meters at Xiaoling.
  • ✅ Marvel at the exquisite stone carvings in Emperor Qianlong’s Yuling underground palace, a treasure trove of stone art.
  • ✅ See the widest stone archway in China, showcasing magnificent architectural skill.
  • ✅ Admire the luxurious use of rare huali wood and gold decorations in the three main halls of Empress Dowager Cixi’s tomb.
  • ✅ Discover the unique vermilion steps at Empress Dowager Cixi’s tomb, featuring an unusual “phoenix above, dragon below” design and complex openwork carving.
  • ✅ Reflect on the simplicity of the concubine garden tombs, where even the favored Fragrant Consort rests under a simple mound of earth.

Currently Open Sites:

  • Main spirit road, Yuling (Qianlong), Dingxi Mausoleum (Cixi), Consort Yu (Fragrant Consort), Xiaoling (Shunzhi), and Jingling (Kangxi).
The Eastern Qing Tombs

 

Recommended Tour Route:

Start at the Visitor Center, take a sightseeing bus to the central area, visit Dingxi Mausoleum, Consort Yu, Yuling, and then take the bus again to Jingling and Xiaoling.

You can walk along the central axis or take the bus to the exit.

Useful Information:

Address: Eastern Qing Tombs, Liupanying Village, Zunhua, Tangshan, Hebei.

Ticket Price: 138 yuan (includes sightseeing bus), with a total visiting time of around 4-5 hours.

Package Deal: Get a combo ticket for Cixi and Yuling for 110 yuan (includes shuttle bus), plus 30 yuan for the museum and another 30 yuan for Jingling, totaling 170 yuan.

Getting There:
  • By Car: Navigate directly to the Eastern Qing Tombs. Parking is available for 10 yuan.
  • Public Transport: Direct buses are available from Jizhou and Zunhua, making it convenient to visit.

 

FAQs

Q: Where is the Eastern Qing Dynasty tomb located?

A: The Eastern Qing Tombs are located in Liupanying Village, Zunhua, Tangshan, Hebei, China.

Q: Who was buried with Qianlong?

A: Empress Dowager Cixi, Consort Yu (Fragrant Consort), and other members of the Qing royal family were buried with Emperor Qianlong.

Q: What are the imperial tombs of the Qing Dynasty?

A: The imperial tombs of the Qing Dynasty, including the Eastern Qing Tombs, are the final resting places of emperors, empresses, and other royalty from the Qing Dynasty.

Q: What was the looting of Qing tombs?

A: The looting of Qing tombs refers to instances in history where the burial sites of Qing emperors and nobility were plundered for valuable artifacts and treasures.

Discover interesting activities in Beijing by exploring these articles if you’re planning a visit to China:

Hire a Private Driver to Eastern Qing Tomb

Vehicle Rental Rates (RMB)
Vehicle Options PEK Airport Pickup/Drop-off Mutianyu + Ming Tombs Badaling OR Huanghua-cheng Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu + Summer Palace Simatai OR Jinshanling Longqing Gorge
4 seats Magotan/ Teana 300 890 890 690 890 1090 890
6 seats Buick 450 1290 1190 1090 1290 1490 1190
14 seats Ford Transit 650 1590 1490 1390 1490 1890 1490
16 seats Joylong 750 1890 1790 1790 1990 2390 1790
22 seats Toyota Coaster 950 2190 2090 2090 2290 2690 2090
38 seats KINGLONG 1350 2890 2790 2790 2990 3390 2790
Vehicle (Car, Van, Coach) Rental Rates (RMB)
Vehicle Options Tiananmen, Forbidden City & Mutianyu PEK Airport PickUp & Mutianyu & Airport Drop Off PEK Airport PickUp/Drop Off & Mutianyu & City Sites Longqing Gorge + Badaling Shilinxia (Glass Platform) Eastern Qing Tombs Cuandixia Village
4 seats Hyundai 790 990 1190 950 990 990 990
6 seats Buick 990 1390 1390 1190 1190 1490 1190
14 seats Ford Transit 1290 1590 1590 1590 1390 1490 1690
16 seats Joylong 1790 1890 1890 1890 1690 1890 1890
22 seats Toyota Coaster 2090 2190 2190 2190 1990 2190 2190
38 seats KINGLONG 2890 2990 2990 2990 2790 2990 2990

Notes: The driver possesses basic English skills, facilitating essential communication.

He is well-acquainted with the local sites and will be responsible for driving you to these locations and waiting as you explore.

He is also knowledgeable about when to return you to your original location.

If any issues arise, or if there are misunderstandings due to language barriers, please do not hesitate to contact our office at +86 185 1025 4530 for assistance.

We’re here to ensure your journey is as smooth as possible.

Ricky

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