The Ming Xiaoling, the mausoleum of the Hongwu Emperor, founder of the Ming Dynasty in Nanjing, stands at the southern foot of Purple Mountain. Built from 1381 to 1405, it involved 100,000 laborers and was guarded by 5,000 troops. The mausoleum is renowned for its intricate design and vast scale, featuring the Da Jin Men, a giant stone tortoise, and the Sifangcheng pavilion. The Shengong Shengde Stele, inscribed by the Yongle Emperor, rests on the tortoise. The Sacred Way, an 1,800-meter road lined with animals and warrior figures, leads to the tomb, while the Lingxing Gate and central area showcase historical relics. Despite damage in the 19th century, it remains a UNESCO World Heritage Site, emblematic of Ming and Qing imperial tombs.
01 Path to Ming tomb 02 Path to Ming tomb 03 Civil and military gate 04 Silk burning oven 05 Pavilion
06 Inner gate 07 Inner gate 08 Inner gate 09 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower 10 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower
11 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower 12 Staircase of Ming tower 13 Rectangular citadel staircase 14 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower 15 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower
16 Door of Ming tower 17 Roof with square pattern 18 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower 19 Rectangular citadel and Ming tower 20 Animal statues on temple roof
21 Silk burning oven 22 Silk burning oven 23 Animal statues on temple roof 24 Statue 25 Pillars along way
26 Spirit way 27 Horse statue 28 Shixiang road 29 Horse statue 30 Horse statue
31 Lion statue 32 Elephant statue 33 Shixiang road 34 Lion statue
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