The Ming Tombs are located at the foothills of Tianshou Mountain, about fifty kilometers from Beijing. The mountains around the tomb areas are surrounded by plains in the middle. There are small rivers winding in front of the tombs. The scenery is beautiful and pleasant. The thirteen tombs are all built on the mountain, and are built on the foothills of the east, west and north respectively, forming a complete, magnificent and majestic tomb building complex. The cemetery was built in 1409 and has a history of more than 300-600 years. The mausoleum area covers an area of 40 square kilometers. It is one of the largest tomb buildings in China and the world, and the largest tomb of emperors. It was listed as a world cultural heritage in 2003.
There are currently four scenic spots open to the outside world in Ming Tombs. The Ming Tombs is a unified whole, and each tomb is an independent unit. The tombs have similar specifications. Each tomb is built in front of a mountain. The distance between tombs is as little as half a kilometer and as much as eight kilometers. Except that Siling is located in the southwest corner, the rest are arranged in a fan shape around Changling. Under the guidance of the traditional Chinese feng shui theory, from the site selection to the planning and design, the Ming Tombs attach great importance to the harmonious unity of the mausoleum architecture and nature, mountains, rivers, water flow and vegetation, and pursue the perfect realm of “made in heaven” to reflect the philosophical view of “unity of man and nature”. As an outstanding representative of ancient Chinese emperor’s mausoleum, the Ming Tombs demonstrate the rich connotation of traditional Chinese culture.
In 2003, the Ming Tombs were included in the “World Heritage List.” Evaluation by the World Heritage Committee is as follows: The royal tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties were carefully selected according to Fengshui theory, and a large number of buildings were ingeniously placed underground. It is the product of mankind’s change of nature, embodies traditional architectural and decorative ideas, and explains the world view and power view of feudal China for more than 5,000 years.