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Zhaoling(also you can call it Zhao Tomb), the ninth of the 13 Ming Tombs in Beijing’s Changping County, was restored and opened to the public on November lst, 1989. This is the third Ming Tomb to have been restored in the Imperial Ming Tombs Valley. The other two tombs are Dingling and Changling which were opened to the public in the late 1960.

The restoration of the tomb by the Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau started in 1985 and it was completed in October 1989. The tomb was built in the 16th century damaged in wars and eroded by 400 years of wind and rain, most of the above-ground structures of the tomb has been destroyed or fallen into disrepair. The restoration of the main buildings of Zhaoling -Ling’en (Eminent Favour) Hall and Ling’en(Eminent Favour) Gate – required a large quantity of 12 to 14-me-tre -long and one-metre-diameter giant logs for their columns and cross beams. However, these large-sized logs were not available in China.

Learning of this particular .requirement, ITT Rayonier, a subsidiary of ITT Corporation of the United States offered to donate lumber to the restoration. Today, 144 Douglas fir and hemlock trees more than 300 years old from the Pacific coast of the United States were used for the project. The Wood Import and Export Company of-the China National Native Produce and Animal By-products Import and Export Corporation offered to transport those “friendship logs” free of charge.

To honour the generous contributions to the Zhaoling restoration project by ITT Rayonier and China TUHSU, the Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau and the Imperial Ming Tombs Special Zone Office have erected a monument facing the tomb to commemorate the friendship between the peoples of China and the United States.

The Zhaoling Tomb was built for Emperor Longqing who was enthroned in 1567 and died in 1572. The Emperor and three empresses were buried here.

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