Covering an area of 30 square kilometers, it is situated between Zhengzhou city and Luoyang city, with Longhai Railway passing through and the highway from Kaifeng city to Luoyang city passing from west to east. With Songshan Mountain to the south and Yellow River to the north, the imperial tombs have a beautiful natural view.
Except Emperor Qindi and Emperor Weidi, the rest seven emperors, together with the father of the first emperor in Northern Song Dynasty were all buried there. The eight tombs are Yong'an Tomb of Emperor Xuanzu, Yongchang Tomb of Emperor Taizu, Yongxi Tomb of Emperor Taizong, Yongding Tomb of Emperor Zhenzong, Shuizhao Tomb of Emperor Renzong, Yonghou Tomb of Emperor Yingzong, Yongyu Tomb of Emperor Shenzong and Yongtai Tomb of Emperor Zhezong. Many imperial concubines, princes, princesses, major generals and ministers such as Gao Dehuai, Zhao Pu, Cao Bing, Cai Qi, Kou Zhun, Bao Zheng, Di Qing and so on were also buried there. The eight imperial tombs are well preserved. Empresses' tombs mainly locate in the four tomb areas—Xicun, Caizhuang, Xiaoyi and Baling. A great tomb area is formed and a grand view is presented.
All facing south, imperial tombs are in the same style and consist of the upper palace, the palace cluster, the underground palace and the lower palace. Temples and Xanadus were built around the tombs. Pine trees and cypresses in the tomb area make it more magnificent. Yong'an Tomb, Yongchang Tomb and Yongxi Tomb are situated in Xicun tomb area, which is between Changfeng village and Hutuo village. Yongding Tomb is in Caizhuang, Yongzhao Tomb and Yonghou Tomb in Xiaoyi and Yongyu Tomb and Yongtai Tomb in Baling tomb area.
The quetai, rutai and stone sculptures were constructed from south to north in the imperial tomb. The upper palace is to the north of stone sculptures. A long square wall, about 1000 meters long surrounded the upper palace. There is an entrance in each side of the wall and a small platform in each corner of the wall. In the middle of the upper palace lies a pyramid-like platform, under which is the underground palace. The lower palace, serving as a dining-room should be to the north or northwest of the upper palace but now no buildings are left. Empresses' tombs are same in style but in a minor size and with less stone sculptures.
There are hundreds of stone sculptures in the tomb area. Generally, each imperial tomb has 23 pairs of stone sculptures on the stone passage, including a pair of columns, a pair of elephant raisers, a pair of lucky birds, a pair of lucky animals, a pair of horses, four pairs of horse raisers, two pairs of tigers, two pairs of sheep, two pairs of envoys, two pairs of military officers, two pairs of civil officials, a pair of lions and a pair of soldiers. Outside each entrance of the four in the long wall sit a pair of lions while inside stand a pair of servants. Some other entrances of the lower palace have stone lions in the front. Song Dynasty sculptures get rid of the mysterious tradition, but emphasize the common life of that time; therefore, they have distinguished artistic and historical value.