Tag Archives: ming tombs

The Ming Tombs: Spirit Way and Dingling

The Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty are, like most dynastic things, huge. We explored one of the thirtteen tombs (Ding Ling) after walking through the two-mile-long entrance known as Spirit Way.

The Colors of Gold and Blood

As we walked along Spirit Way, presumably re-created statues lined the path. There were four specimens of each type, two kneeling on either side, and two at attention on either side. This was true for statues of generals as it was for statues of animals

After spirit way, we drove to Dingling. Yes, the park is so huge you drive from one location to another. Along the way I kept thinking visiting imperial graves would have been a lot of work…

Dingling Towers Ominously

The tomb itself is underground. While photography is permitted, the dim light made it difficult to take an acceptable picture with my camera

The Imperial Sarcophagus

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was the well dressed and well guarded (at least three uniformed officer and one plainclothesed guard) French delegation

Viva la France!

In a weird way Beijing is familiar to me. It is almost dead west from where I live and go to school, and the climate is very similar. While walking outside the Ming Tombs, I couldn’t kick the thought that I was by the Custer State Game Lodge, if it was five centuries old and next door to tens of millions of Chinese people…

Black hills outside Beijing

… and, of course, fond of Great Wall style construction

The Ming Tombs, a tdaxp travelogue.
1. Drive
2. Spirit Way and Dingling
3. Shisanling Reservoir

The Ming Tombs: Drive

The Mings (“Brights”) were arguably the last ethnic Chinese dynasty before the Communist Party. Preceded by the Mongolian Yuan and succeeded by the Manchu Qing, the Ming found themselves surrounded by a world that was growing hostile to China. Attempting to reclaim their country’s former glory, the Ming bureaucratized much of traditional Chinese religion and, along the way, created a gorgeous series of imperial tombs just to the north of Beijing. There was a lot to see, and rather than pushing everything into a single post I’ll break up the photos, focusing first on the drive from our location (near Baiwangshan) to the Thirteen Tombs.

Wind had blown away the smog of the day before, and the ride up was beautiful.

Read more, and join the tdaxp motoring adventure!

Beijing is a city of contrasts. Within about two miles of each other we saw children playing with trash

and an amazingly ornate castle.

So much for “simple living

Not to mention, of course, the ultra-cool satellite receiver farm:

This area is considered “countryside,” and indeed there are countryish parts to it…

… other aspects seemed a bit developed for a village, such as the McDonalds Drive-Thru


and the sports stadium

The Ming Tombs, a tdaxp travelogue.
1. Drive
2. Spirit Way and Dingling
3. Shisanling Reservoir