The Empire is Dead

The Ming Dynasty Tombs are located 42 kilometers north-northwest of central Beijing.  From the Yongle Emperor (1402-1424) onwards, 13 Ming Dynasty Emperors were buried there.

The site of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Tombs was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui (geomancy) principles. According to these, bad spirits and evil winds descending from the North must be deflected; therefore, an arc-shaped area at the foot of the Jundu Mountains was selected.

The site of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Tombs was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui (geomancy) principles. According to these, bad spirits and evil winds descending from the North must be deflected; therefore, an arc-shaped area at the foot of the Jundu Mountains was selected.

It struck me that the most interesting part of this site was the road in, lined with statues and passing through several gates. But our tour seemed to take a back way in, and we only saw a few buildings at the base of the mountain.  After walking the Great Wall, the visit was a bit of a let down.

Through one of the many gates.

Through one of the many gates.

Under the roof line.  The place does need a little sprucing up.

Under the roof line. The place does need a little sprucing up

Detail, between staircases

Detail, between staircases

Detail from the roof of the much-photographed silk-burning stove.  Is this why the emperor has no clothes?

Detail from the roof of the much-photographed silk-burning stove. Is this why the emperor has no clothes?

Osmanthus fragrans. A flowering shrub seen throughout China , in flower in yellow, orange or white, having culinary and medicinal uses.

Osmanthus fragrans. A flowering shrub seen throughout China , in flower in yellow, orange or white, having culinary and medicinal uses.

The site is a part of a complex UNESCO world heritage grouping of MIng and Qing (the last two dynasties) burial sites. But I don't think this is what the money was for.

The site is a part of a complex UNESCO world heritage grouping of MIng and Qing (the last two dynasties) burial sites. But I don’t think this is what the money was for.

My favourite shot of this site.

My favourite shot of this site.

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2 comments on “The Empire is Dead

  1. Janet says:

    Great pictures Bunty! Love the intricate detail of your pictures.

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