Mausoleum of First Qin Emperor

The Mausoleum of First Qin Emperor is the largest underground emperor mausoleum while the pyramids in Egypt is the largest on-ground king mausoleum in the world. Located in the eastern suburbs of Lintong District, 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Xi'an downtown, the Mausoleum of First Emperor Qinshihuang enjoys a perfect Fengshui with Wei River in front and Lishan Mountain towering behind. Moreover, the lay of the land from Lishan to Mount Hua is shaped dragon-like according to traditional Chinese geomancy and the imperial mausoleum is right at the eye of the dragon. This is why the emperor chose this place.

Tomb of Qin Shi Huang is the first emperor’s mausoleum in the history of ancient China, its huge scaled, rich burial objects is the top of the emperor’s mausoleum including the famous Terracotta Warriors and Bronze Horses. In 1961, it was listed as a key cultural relic under state protection, and in 1987 it was inscribed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.


- In Chinese: 秦始皇陵

- Address: North Qinling Road, Lintong District, Xi’an

- Opening time:

08:30 – 18:00 (Mar 16th to Nov 15th)

08:30 – 17:30 (the rest of the year)

- Best time to visit: avoid Chinese public holiday

- Entrance fee: free (included in the ticket of the Terracotta Army Museum)

Qinshihuang mausoleum

What to See?

Due to limited archaeological technology, the Mausoleum of First Qin Emperor has not yet been excavated, and visitors can only see the surface of a tall mausoleum surrounded by mountains and vegetation. But you can hear a lot of legends about the first emperor of China.

Qin Shi Huang (259 BC - 210 BC) opened the history of Chinese feudal society. He was a statesman, strategist and reformer of ancient China. He defeated Han, Zhao, Wei, Chu, Yan and Qi successively, completed the reunification of China, and established a centralized and unified multi-ethnic state - the Qin dynasty. After the unification, he thought that he had made a great achievement, so he named himself “emperor”, so he became the first feudal emperor in the history of China.

He began the construction of his tomb as early as the age of 13, when he ascended the throne. About 700,000 workers from every province of the empire toiled unceasingly until the death of the emperor in order to construct a subterranean city within a gigantic mound. The project lasted another two years after the death of Qin Shi Huang. Adding the first phase of construction, nearly 40 years were used in building the mausoleum.

According to the Records of the Historian, the tomb was very deep and solid and lined with stones. Inside the tomb, a vermilion stone wall blocked off groundwater, making it waterproof; treasures and jewels were kept there and candles of man-fish oil burned 24 hours a day; automatic hidden arrows protected the tomb from robbers and looters and a belt of quicksilver poured in a ditch around the tomb looked like a protective river.

tomb of Qinshihuang

It is estimated by archaeologists that the whole area of mausoleum is 56.25 square kilometer, which is 78 times of the Imperial Palace. However, only a part of it was excavated due to the technology limitation of preserving the collections in it. In accordance with the principle of enjoying prosperity and wealth after the death of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the tomb was built according to the layout of Xianyang, the capital of Qin dynasty. The large ground structures that have been proved in the mausoleum area are the ruins of the sleeping palace, side palace hall and the hall of temple officials.

How to Get to Tomb of Qin Shi Huang?

No subway to take.

You can take Bus 306, 307 or Sightseeing Bus 5 to Terracotta Army Museum (Bing Ma Yong) Station. After visiting Terracotta Army Museum, you can stroll around the Mausoleum of First Qin Emperor.

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