Yongling Tomb is located in the south of Yangcui Mountain. It is a large tomb where the eleventh Emperor Jiajing and his three wives were buried.

Yongling Tomb was built in the fifteenth year that Emperor Shizong was in power. But he selected the tomb place after his wife Chen died. At that time, Emperor Shizong commanded his ministers of Zhangcong and Yongqing Luo to select a tomb place for his wife Chen and meanwhile he also selected a tomb place for himself.

Yongqing Luo is known for his talent of divination and geomancy. When he came to Tianshou Mountain, he observed the shape and terrain of the mountain and selected two lucky places for the tombs of Xiangzi Ridge and Eighteen Ridge. Later, Emperor Shizong inspected the two places and finally he decided to build tombs at Eighteen Ridge. What’s more, Emperor Shizong thought Eighteen Ridge was not a good name, so he changed it to Yangcui Ridge. The big project began on April 22nd 1636. Emperor Shizong held the opening ceremony by himself and ordered ministers of Guoxun and Lishi to be responsible for the project. The repair work of the other seven tombs and the project of Changling stones Protection began on the same day.

Forty thousands people participated in this project at that time and some other projects like new palace and Shengji Pavilion were under construction. Therefore the cost every month was more than fifteen million grams of silver. But the Ministry of Works in Ming Dynasty didn’t have enough money, so Emperor Shizong adopted suggestions from ministers to collect taxes from people to support the tomb project.

Ming Dynasty Tombs (Shisan Ling)

Jack Li

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