/ / The Qianling Mausoleum

The Qianling Mausoleum

Photos and description

The Qianling mausoleum is located 80 kilometers from XI'an, at the peak of mount Liang Shan. The mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor Gao Zong and his wife Wu Zetian, and this building is one of the best preserved complexes of the eighteen mausoleums of the Tang dynasty (618-907). Date of construction of the mausoleum - 684.

Throughout the mausoleum complex are numerous stone sculptures, which for nearly 1200 years. The first exhibits that greets visitors to the complex, two decorative columns, called in Chinese "Huabiao". These columns can be seen at the entrance of most tombs, burial sites and mausoleums. They look very impressive and decorated with carvings throughout.

On the Holy trail of the burial complex, visitors to the mausoleum can see the forms of birds and winged horses. According to legends and traditions, ancient rulers of China wanted to in the afterlife, their life was luxurious and serene, so loved to decorate their tombs with figures of animals, mythical creatures, birds and beasts that were supposed to protect their peace.

Figures depicting horses, made in the form of a flying animal, swift and fast. Birds is rosy finches with very properly moulded forms. Stone finches appeared at the tomb at the time when the funeral of the Emperor of these birds are brought away from Afghanistan. These birds, according to legend, protect the peace of their owners, so a pair of stone pink birds have taken a worthy place in front of the graves of the Emperor and his wife.

Also on site are several high stelae of stone. A stele on the Eastern side of the mausoleum has no pictures. According to the documents of the era, Empress Wu Zetian expressed in his will the request not to write anything on the stele, in order that posterity could appreciate her not by words but by achievements in the future. Stele of the Empress with a height of 6.5 meters, with a thickness of five feet and a width of 2.2 meters.

During the reign of the song dynasty (960-1279 years) and the Jin dynasty, different people, visiting these graves were left on the blank surfaces of the wall inscriptions.

On the Western side of the wall there is a stele called "the Stele with stories about the exploits and successes of the Emperor." Its height is 6.5 metres and width 2 metres. In the texts applied to the wall surface, describes the exploits of the Emperor, his achievements, and the political and military successes.