ChineseJapanese  Bookmark    Print Page

Sacred Way

Sacred Way


In the front part of the imperial mausoleum, there usually is a Sacred Way (or Divine Road) which means the road leading to heaven. This custom started from the Western Han Dynasty (202BC-25AD). The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also deservedly would return to Heaven through this road.

Among the many Sacred Ways, the one of Ming Tombs' is best preserved and complete. The Sacred Way starts with a huge stone memorial archway lying at the front of the area. Constructed in 1540, during the Ming Dynasty, this archway is the earliest and biggest stone archway existing in China today. Six rectangular pillars support it with beautiful bas-relief carvings (lions, dragons, lotus flowers). It is 14 meters high and 28.86 meters wide.

Farther, a pavilion of the "Stele of Divine Merit and Sacred Virtue, Changling, Great Ming" can be seen. Inside it, there lies a 50-ton stone tortoise carrying a stone tablet. A white marble Huabiao (ornamental pillar) is positioned at each corner of the stele pavilion. At the top of each is stationed a mythical beast facing either inward or outward, expressing hope that the emperor will neither cling to the palace nor forget to return to the Palace to handle state affairs.
This Sacred Way starts with two hexagonal columns on either side, they are carved with a cloud design. Their tops are shaped like a rounded cylinder.
Then follow, one on each side, lions, xie zhi, camels, elephants, Qilin, horses of stone are two kneeling, two standing, totally 24 stone animals. Lions are powerful; xie zhi, a mythical beast, is a discriminator between honest and dishonest; Qilin (a kind of imaginary animal with a scaly body, a cow's tail, deer's hooves and, horns on its head) is considered as a lucking animal; camels, elephants, are royal and kind to their owners; horses are fond of speedy running.

A slight turn of the Sacred Way leads to the human statues. Even this slight turn is in conformity with the principle of Feng Shui. On each side stand two generals, two civil officials and two "retired" government officials, 6 on each side, and 12 in all. They are larger-than-life-size human statues.
The avenue of stone animals and statues ends at Ling Xing Gate,also known as the Dragon and Phoenix Gate.
But the Sacred Way goes on beyond the Dragon and Phoenix Gate towards the chief tomb, Changling, emperor Yongle's tomb.
By Angela Zhangyue


Tailored Tours

You can make your travel plans and package tours to China by sending us your requirements for your vacation on your own and we'll combine all elements you required to reply your enquiries.

Your request will be replied within 24 hours with detailed itinerary and quotation, and we will fill you in with all the information you need to know before coming!

Our Sales Team is always ready to provide you with customized programs to meet your needs.

There is no charge on this service!

Need more information ?

Ask the tour operator questions about this tour and get reply within 1 working day!

Name:    Email:    Tel:    


Coach & Private City Tours (TOP 10)

  1. 3-day Beijing Package TourFrom US$ 241 recommend tours

Special Notes

China Tours
China Highlights Tours
Yangtze River Cruise
Shangri-La Tours
Silk Road Tours
Tibet Tours
City & Budget Tours
Xi'an Tours
Beijing Tours
Shanghai Tours
Guilin Tours
Other Cities
Theme Tours
Tailor Made Tours
China Guide
Chinese Culture
China City Guide
China Attractions
China Travel Kit
China Maps
China Photos
Travel Tools
Terms & Conditions
Payment Options
Contact Us


China Bravo Tours operated by Xi'an CITS
Travel Permit No: L-SNX-GJ00003
Business License: 610000100091601
Tel: 0086-29-86692055
Customer Service:0086-29-86692055
Fax: 0086-29-85360933
Copyright (C) Xi'an CITS, All Rights Reserved

Partner Sites: Expedia | Priceline | Flight Centre | Hotwire | Orlando Theme Park Vacations | Sell Off Vacations | Marathon Hotel Guide |
Dubai apartment rentals | Web-Popularity | More Partners...