Here at the location of the white brick, the stone slab showing the whereabouts of the Underground Palace
was found, about one foot below the surface.
Construction of the tomb started in 1584 and it took six years to complete, with a total cost of eight million taels of silver. The Emperor died in 1620 and was buried here with his two empresses.
The excavation started in May 1956 and was finished in July, 1958. A winding staircase of 160 steps leads down to the Underground Palace
. Those who find it inconvenient to take so many steps down may walk slowly back to the bus.
This is a part of the polished porphyritic rocks. They have been preserved to show how they looked like before.
Here is a sketch map of the Underground Palace
, with a total floor space of 1,195 square metres. It is divided into 5 chambers, the front chamber, the-middle chamber, the rear chamber and the left and right annex chambers.
This is the Diamond Wall, the sealing wall leading to the Under-ground Palace. It consists of 23 layers of large bricks. They are preserved this way specially for visitors.
As you can see, this part is new and the iron gate was added after the excavation.