Imperial mausoleum is located in the Gongyi City, Henan province. Seven of the nine emperors of the North Song Dynasty are buried there. Furthermore, the mausoleum of the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty-Zhao Kuangyi's father is also situated there. Therefore, it is named "Seven emperors and eight mausoleums".
Among them, the Yongzhao Mausoleum belongs to Zhao Chen (the fourth emperor of the North Song Dynasty). It is the only one of the eight mausoleums that is recovered by archaeologists.
Yongzhao Mausoleum is giant in scale, and magnificent in architecture, showing its extensiveness and solemnness. It is built according to the terrain, nestling under a mountain and near a river. It is consisted of the mausoleums of the emperor and the empress as well as palaces. Along the roads, groups of stone carving are giant and vivid. Unfortunately, the mausoleum and the architectures were destroyed at different times.
Yongzhao Mausoleum covers an area of over 500 mus. A great number of precious sacrificial objects are buried under the mausoleum, while architectures including Up Palace and Down Palace are built above.
In the Yongzhao Mausoleum, there is Que Gate, Ru Gate, Shrine Passage, group of stone carving, palace city and mausoleum. Que Gate is the first gate to the Up Palace with two architectures which are 42 meters away from each other. The two architectures are square in shape, and steep in wall with gorgeous pavilions above. The Ru Gate is the second gate of the Up Palace, 134 meters away from the Que Gate. It has two architectures 43 meters away from each other. They are rectangle in shape. The Shrine Passage is the road to the palace city. Stone statuses stand symmetrically on both side of the passage, symbolizing that the emperor would still govern things on the earth and the world after death. You can see stone statues of human, sheep, tiger, horse, beast of auspicious sign, rose finch, elephant, baluster column and so on. They are all delicately engraved. Stone rose finch is the most exquisite one. It has horse's head, dragon's body, eagle's claw and peacock's tail. With mountains as its background on the stone, it is fierce and vigorous, representing the auspicious sign.
Walk down the stone stairs, and you can feel as if you are walking across the history. Cross the Que Gate and the Ru Gate, you can feel the breezes brushing your cheek and listen to the wind bells ringing. The brilliant history and the quiet present are both by your side.
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