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Eastern Qing Tomb
Eastern Qing Tomb Eastern Qing Tomb

The Eastern Qing Mausoleums, situated 125 kilometers northwest of Beijing, are among the finest and largest extant Mausoleum complexes in China. Like the Western Qing Mausoleums are the sacred burial grounds of Qing emperors, empresses and imperial concubines. Locatedto the west of Malanyu Village in Zunhua County, Hebei Province, the entire complex covers an area of 2,500 square kilometers.

The construction of the tombs was begun in the second year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1663). The main Mausoleums include those of the following emperors, here listed with their reign periods: Shunzhi (1644-1661), Kangxi (1662-1722), Qianlong (1736-1796), Xianfeng (1851-1861), Tongzhi (1862-1875), and Empress Dowager Cixi (died 1908). In addition, four Mausoleums containing the remains of 136 imperial concubines and one Mausoleum for princesses are also located here.

Eastern Qing Tomb Eastern Qing Tomb
A large white marble archway marks the main entrance to the Eastern Qing Mausoleums. Similar in design to traditional wooden memorial archways (pailou), its rectangular panels are carved with swirling patterns and other geometrical designs. Paired lions and dragons decorate the bases of the standing columns.

The mausoleums of Emperor Qianlong, called the Yuling, and Empress Dowager Cixi, called the Dingdongling, have been renovated and are open to visitors. The Qing Dynasty attained its greatest power and prosperity during the reign of Qianlong. He was emperor for 60 years (1736-1796), longer than the other nine Qing emperors and for three years served as regent for his son, Emperor Jiaqing. In 1743, after reigning for eight years, Qianlong began directing the construction of his mausoleum at a total cost of 1.8 million taels of silver. The underground palace occupies an area of 327 square meters and consists of three arched chambers. Although it is smaller than the Dingling underground palace at the Ming Tombs, the Yuling Mausoleum houses finer stone engravings and sculptures. A detailed relief of the standing Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) is carved into each of the eight leaves of the four double doors

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