Shaanxi Qianling Tomb, China

China Travel Tour Guide - information about China cities, attractions, chinese culture, travel tips and much more.


> China Travel Tour Guide > Attractions

Qianling Tomb

The Qianling Tomb is located on the Liangshan Mountain of north Qian Prefecture, Shaanxi Province, 6km away from the Qian Prefecture and 80km away from the Xi'an city.

It is the tomb that Tang Gaozong and Wu Zetian buried together. They were not only husband and wife, but also emperors. This kind of tomb is rare in Chinese history.

The Qianling Tomb was built in the 2nd year after Tang Gaozong passed away, it was said it was started to build from 684 and lasted for 23 years. The Liangshan Mountain's elevation is 1,047.5 meters high, having three peaks, the north peak is the highest, the Qianling Tomb regarded the whole north peak as its tomb.

According to the historical materials, originally the tomb had double city walls outside and inside and four city gates and some constructions with carved beams and painted rafters like palace.

The inner tomb covers an area of 240 square meters. The city wall has four sides, south is the Red Sparrow Gate, north is the Black Warrior Gate, east is the Blue Dragon Gate and west is the White Tiger Gate.

There is a pair of stone lions in front of the four gates representatively. On both sides of the way in front of the tomb there ranges 124 stone carvings with exquisite sculpture and vivid looking.

From south to north, there are representatively a pair of ornamented columns which erected in front of tombs, wing horses and red sparrow, five pairs of stone horses, ten pairs of stone carved capitals with caps and swords, three pairs of stone horses out of the northern gate.

Additionally there are two tablets in praise of Tang Gaozong and Wu Zetian "The Sushengji Tablet" and "The No Characters Tablet" out of the southern gate and 61 stone carvings of the chiefs of Chinese minorities and the ambassadors of neighboring countries who were present Tang Gaozong's funeral.

South of the Qianling Tomb, there are 17 tombs buried with the dead ranging from east to west. On the basis of record, they are the prince of Zhang Huai named Lixian, the prince of Yi De named Li Chongrun, the Ze Wang Li Shangjin and the Yongtai Princess and so forth.

These company tombs had been robbed for many times for hundreds of years. But the modern archaeologists still unearthed more than 4300 exquisite culture relics. Among them, the three tombs of the Yongtai Princess, Yide Prince and Zhanghuai Prince are the most attractive tombs.

In the tomb of Yongtai Princess the "Maid Painting" drew 16 palace maids with graceful models. The "construction picture" in the tomb of Yide Prince is very rare in the paintings of Tang Dynasty, while the "journey picture" and "equestrian picture" in the tomb of Zhanghuai Prince are the fine works in Tang Dynasty. There are more than 100 vivid and colorful paintings.

In Chinese history, the number, kind and the location of carvings in front of the tombs are started to be sure from the Qianling Tomb. To Qing Dynasty, it formed a kind of fixed system belonging to the imperial family. It is still a riddle now about the situation of the Qianling Tomb.

The structure of this tomb is very special and there are 39 layers of stone strips in front of the tomb gate, each layer was fixed by iron board with galvanized iron and it was solid like iron. It is pity that the Qianling Tomb was not robbed, so the cultural relics inside the tomb were preserved perfectly.