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Why Explore the Ming Tombs, Beijing

The Ming Tombs also known as the Thirteen Tombs are a complex of mausoleums located about 48 km (31 miles) northwest of Beijing. This giant cemetery complex is the burial place of the Ming Dynasty's thirteen emperors.

The site, located on the southern slope of Tianshou Mountain (originally Mount Huangtu), was chosen on the feng shui principles by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402 - 1424) in 1409, who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to its present location in Beijing.

All of the Ming tombs are surrounded by mountains on three sides near a river and share a centrally located avenue known as the Sacred Way. As of today only three of the 13 tombs are open to the public: the Dingling (the tomb of Emperor Wanli), Changling (the tomb of Emperor Yongle), and Zhaoling (the tomb of Emperor Qinglong).

The Ming Tombs are considered a perfect incorporation of an ancient royal cemetery and traditional Chinese feng shui. What is more, this World Heritage Site is one of the most prominent cultural relics of China.

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