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Notes on the Geography of China: Beijing: Ming Tombs: Photo 11

world pictures China: Beijing: Ming Tombs

We've shifted to Yongling, the tomb of Zhu Houcong (1507-66), who ruled as Jiajing. It's nearly as grand as Changling, and not nearly as made over for tourists. It's also closed to the public. All the more reason for visiting it. Note the geomantically desirable location at the base of a south-facing mountain. It's part of the Heavenly Longevity (Tianshou) Range, named by Zhu Di, who in choosing this valley for his own tomb chose the location of the tombs of his successors. In the foreground is a spirit path (shendao), characteristic of imperial tombs. Farther back, and sadly rimmed by recent steel bars, is a spirit or slab staircase leading to the terrace on which the sacrificial hall once stood.

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