china edition


Xian - Maoling Mausoleum

Shaanxi - Xian - Yan'an

Maoling Mausoleum is located in Maoling Village of Nanwei Town on the Weibei altiplano, about 45 kilometer north of Xian. The Maoling Mausoleum was the tomb of Emperor Wudi in the Western Han dynasty. It is the biggest mausoleum among the imperial mausoleums of the Western Han dynasty.

Emperor Han Wudi (140-87 BC), called Liu Che, was the 5th emperor of the Western Han dynasty. He came to the throne at 16 and was in power for 54 years. He was the emperor for the longest period in the history of China.

In the second year of his reign, Emperor Wudi began to build the Maoling Mausoleum, which took 53 years to fnish. At the age of 71, Wudi died and was buried at the Maoling Mausoleum. The tomb was built of rammed earth in the shape of a 4-sided dipper, 46 m high and 240 m long.

The tomb covers over 54,000 square m. The mausoleum is square and consists of the inner and outer city, with bounding wall around it.

According to the records, the funeral objects were so abundant that the tomb could hardly hold even before Emperor Han Wudi died. One third of the yearly taxes and tributes of the state was spent to construct Maoling Mausoleum.

There are over 20 satellite tombs of high officials and noble relatives around the Maoling Mausoleum, such as the tombs of Quo Qubing, Huo Guang, Wei Qing and Jin Ribei. In those days, officials and nobles showed great respect when they moved nearby. Inside the cemetery there were many places and houses inhabited by tomb keepers and palace maids.