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Dingling is now a museum made up of three sections: the Underground Palace and two exhibition rooms. The objects on display are mostly originals. The trip to the Ming Tombs certainly gives us a better understanding of the Ming Dynasty art, the tomb structure and the emperor’s extravagance in building the tomb.

I’ll tell you more as I show you round. Thank you for your attention. Here are two sketch maps. One shows the Underground Palace of Dingling and the other gives you a panorama of the 13 Ming tombs.We just passed through the gate of Dingling. We are now here at the sketch maps. The two exhibition rooms are here, one on each side. That’s the soul tower; behind it is the tomb mound. Beneath the mound lies the Underground Palace.

This map shows the 13 Ming tombs in this area. The soul towers show the location of the tombs. This one is Dingling and that one is Changling, the first Ming tomb built in Beijing for the third emperor, but not yet opened up.

This road was known as shendao, meaning “the way of the spirit.” The body of the dead was carried over the route at funeral ceremony. It is 7 kilometres long, from the Memorial Arch to the gate of the main tomb.

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