The Sacred Way 2

Beijing, China

Introduction

Great Red Gate

Shen Gong Stele Pavilion

The Sacred Way (1)

The Sacred Way (2)

Chang Ling (1)

Chang Ling (2)

Ding Ling

MingTombs Museum

Finally

Beijing Guide

The Sacred Way (2)

The animals are the lion, camel, elephant, xiezhi (a mythological unicorn), qilin (one of the four 'divine' animals, the other three are dragon, phoenix and tortoise) and horse.

There are 4 of each of these animals: two standing and two sitting. The lion symbolizes awesome solemnity because of its ferocity. The camel and elephant suggest the vastness of the territory controlled by the imperial court, because they are dependable transport in desert and tropical regions. The xiezhi is said to possess a sixth sense to tell right and wrong and so protects against evil. The qilin, an auspicious symbol, was placed on two sides. The horse, as the emperor's mount, is absolutely indispensable.

After the 18 pairs of stone statues which are all sculpted from whole stones, and larger than life size, comes the Dragon and Phoenix Gate.


The Dragon and Pheonix Gate

The main Sacred Way was built to lead to the ChangLing mausoleum. The statues here were erected between 1436 and 1438. Afterwards, twelve more mausoleums were built. The other Sacred Ways here are branches of the ChangLing Sacred Way.

Admission to the Sacred Way: Apr-Nov 30 yuan, Dec-Mar 20 yuan; daily, 8am till dusk.

Chang Ling (1)