Qianling Mausoleum

Located in Qian County and 80 kilometers away from Xi'an city, the Qianling Mausoleum was built in 684, is China's only married emperor buried together, the third Tang emperor, Li Zhi (also called Tang Gaozong), and China's first and only governing Empress Wu Zetian. It is the most typical and best preserved of all the eighteen Tang mausoleums. The Tomb of Emperor Tang Gaozong is imposing and stately, the most eye-catching design is the stone-men statues outside the rosefinch gate, orderly and respectfully arranged in front of the tomb, as if to greet the arrival of the emperor in formation. Qianling is also one of the few tombs of ancient Chinese imperial tombs that have not been excavated and stolen, and the unearthed cultural relics are all from the accompanying tombs in Qianling, such as Princess Yongtai's Tomb and Prince Yide's Tomb.


- In Chinese: 乾陵

- Address: Qianling, Lingqian Village, Qianxian County, Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province

- Opening time:

08:00 – 18:00 (Mar 1st to Nov 30th)

08:30 – 17:30 (the rest of the year)

- Best time to visit: all the year

- Entrance fee: RMB100 (Mar 1st to Nov 30th); RMB80 (the rest of the year)


What to See?

Situated on Mount Liang, north of the Wei River, and 1,049 m (3,442 ft) above sea level, Qianling Mausoleum was flanked by Leopard Valley to the east and Sand Canyon on the west. The tomb chambers of Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu Zetian are located deep within Mount Liang. Unlike many other Tang Dynasty tombs, is notable as the only mausoleum to escape the “unwelcome” attention of tomb robbers as "the tomb chamber of Qianling was closed up with a stone gate sealed with iron to make it secure" according to the records. Inside the mausoleum stood 378 buildings that included the Sacrifice Hall, a Pavilion, a Hall of Ministers and numerous corridors. The inner wall which is 2.4 meters thick, enclosed 240,000 square meters with four sides in a trapezoidal shape, the north and south segments were each 1,450 meters long.

The mausoleum is famous for its many Tang Dynasty stone statues located above ground and the mural paintings adorning the subterranean walls of the tombs. Exquisite and elegant stone statues include horses, winged horses, lions, ostriches, officials, and foreign envoys have stood upright on top of Liangshan Mountain for over 1,200 years. Most of these stone pieces line along the sides of the spirit path, from outside Rosefinch Gate to the north. The famous Wu Zetian Tablet stands on the east side of Sima Road outside rosefich gate, standing out among the stone carvings in the whole Qianling Maulofeum with its exquisite carving skill.

Besides the main tumulus mound and underground tomb of Gaozong and Wu Zetian, there is a total of 17 smaller attendant tombs with only five of them have been excavated by archaeologists.

xian qianling tomb

Main Mausoleum

When Qianling was built, it was in the flourishing time of Tang dynasty, rich kingdom, grand scale, magnificent and solemn architectures. The layout of the mausoleum is modeled after Chang'an, the capital of the Tang dynasty. It’s divided into the imperial city, the palaces and the outer city. According to the documents, there were two layers of original city walls with four exit gates set surrounded, including Azure Dragon Gate in the east, Rosefich Gate in the south, White Tiger Gate in the west, Xuanwu Gate in the north.

Underground Palace

Based on the exploration and combined with the documents unearthed, experts speculate that the tomb chamber is composed of the tomb passage, holes, the courtyard, and the front, middle and back three chambers, with the middle chamber housing the coffin beds. The back chamber of the underground palace is set with a stone bed, on which are placed clothes, sword ornaments, food of thousands of tastes and the things that the dead liked while they were alive.

How to Get to Qianling Mausoleum?

You can take Sightseeing Bus Line 3 at the east square of Xian Rail Station and get to Qianling directly once a day at 08:00 and returns to Xian at 15:00. It takes about 2hrs one way. The route will be shut up at the low season (winter).

qianling mausoleum

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