Mausoleums of Jingjiang Princes
In the earlier Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang (Emperor Mingtaizu) decided to strengthen the centralization of the state power, ensure the loyalty of his sons and at the same time avoid plots against himself, thus measures were taken as designating his 24 sons as kings and princes of different areas of China. Jingjiang Princes are generations of Ming princes who were dispatched by the emperor to govern today's Guilin region. Regarded as the largest and best-preserved group of tombs of the Ming Dynasty princes, Mausoleum of Jingjiang Princes was listed the government-designated priority cultural relic unit under special state protection.
Covering an area of 105 square kilometers (40.5 square miles), the oblong-shaped mausoleums are set amidst lush vegetation and surrounded by Guilin karst hilly mountains, following a north-south axis, anchored by the Solitary Beauty Peak in the north. With 300 carved stones and 300 tombs of members of the Prince Jingjiang, the complex was divided into the outer garden and the inner palace.
A grand sacred way connects the entrance gate to the inner palace with various animal and official stone figures standing on each side. Three routes on the sacred way lead to the inner palace: the middle one called “the sacred way” leads to the Chengyun Palace, being exclusive for the Prince and laying the royal family; the other two routes on each sides reserved for officials and generals lead to the Chengyun Palace, where various statues of animals and officials stand for protecting the entrance to the royal tombs. Inside the palace displays some valuable relics excavated from his tomb.
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