About the Ranking
Chinese ancient mausoleums are large-scale commemoration constructions with highly political nature. Its main function is the embodiment of the political system and ethical values of slavery and feudal dynasty as well as the immortality of emperors and the forever legal system. Therefore the construction requires some kind of solemn, noble, timeless atmosphere of arts. Feel interested? Here are 3 largest Mausoleums in China which deserves your visiting.
Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang (also called Mausoleum of the First Qin Empero) stands on the foot of Lishan, 30km east to Xi'an. Its south backs on to the Lishan and its north touches the Wei River. The big Mausoleum integrates with the Lishan Mountains, offering unique landscape for sightseeing. The construction lasted 38 years, confiscating over 720000 corvees and prisoners. Modern surveys of the site show that the mausoleum is indeed divided into an inner sanctuary and outer city. Around the mausoleum, there are lots of accompanying Mausoleums, which consist of 56.25 sq. km Mausoleum area. In addition to the discovered Terracotta Warriors Vaults and Bronze Horses Vault, there are more vaults containing other relics being discovered recently. As time goes by, it's bound to discover more relics. Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang boasts a Chinese history museum; therefore, it's well-known to the outside world.
As the mausoleum of Emperor Gaozong and his wife Empress Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in Chinese history, Qian Mausoleum is the best preserved Tang Dynasty Mausoleum as well as the most unique one. Situated inside Liangshan Hill, 6 km away from Qian County and 76 km northwest of Xian City, the mausoleum was built in 684 B.C. and took almost 23 years to construct. Historical records said that there were originally inner and outer walls, four gates in each direction, countless halls and pavilions and marvelous stone carvings around the mausoleum. Now only the ancient stone carvings are still standing around the mausoleum. Altogether 114 statues of horses, lions, ostriches, servants and even foreign ambassadors as well as steles and ornamental columns in the mausoleum boast the glory and splendor of the Tang Dynasty silently. Qian Mausoleum is also the best preserved mausoleum in China for it has never been broken into by tomb robbers.
Maoling Mausoleum is located about 40 kilometers away from Xian City. This mausoleum is called ‘the Chinese Pyramid' since it is not only the largest but it also held the richest burial contents of all the mausoleums of Emperors constructed during the Western Han Dynasty, and took the longest time, 53 years, to build. Surrounded by the city wall, the cemetery is in its self quite square. The city wall is 431 meters long from east-to-west and 415 meters long from south-to-north. In the center of each wall there is a door. Now the ruins of east, west and north doors are still to be found in well preserved condition. The whole mausoleum is lofty and majesty. It is like a great cone in shape and even resembles a pyramid without its top. It is 46.5 meters high and the side length at the bottom, the widest part of the tomb is about 240 meters (about 787 feet).