Dingling Underground Palace

The Dingling Underground Palace unveiled in 1956, was the 1st of the 13 Ming imperial tombs to be officially opened to the public. The tombs can be found on the southern slopes of the Tianshou Mountains 48km (30 miles) to the northwest of Beijing .Emperor Wanli (1563-1620) and his 2 empresses were buried at Dingling at his death. Emperor Wanli reigned for 48 years, the longest of all the Ming emperors and his tomb is definitely the most extravagant - the tomb was built over a period of six years by some 30,000 workers, and the equivalent of 2 years of national land tax revenues was spent on construction.The tomb is 27 meters ( 89ft ) below the ground and covers an area of1,195 sq meters. It consists of 5rooms connected by giant marble archways and floors paved by a highly polished stone known as "gold bricks". The central hall has 3 marble imperial thrones and offerings made of yellow glazed pottery. The rear hall is the most important and impressive, it contains 3 platforms used to support the coffins of the Emperor and his wives and was surrounded by 26 red lacquer chests filled with valuables made from gold, silver, jade and porcelain. In addition, sacred objects of jade and porcelain were placed around these chests.
These and some of the other 3,000 objects unearthed from this palace are on display in the 2 exhibition halls. The objects include the emperor's crown, robes, jewels and phoenix tiaras.

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