August 26, 2009

The Sacred Way is part of the Ming Tombs complex. It is a long, straight path flanked by statues first of ancient government officials and then by animals. The Sacred Way ends at a pavilion sheltering a stone tablet。

In the front part of the imperial necropolises, there usually is a Sacred Way (or Divine Road) which means the road leading to heaven. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also deservedly would return to Heaven through this road.
The Sacred Way of Ming Tombs is very well preserved and complete. It is lined with stone statues which are important decorations of the mausoleum. These statues are 12 human figures (including the general, civil officials and meritorious officials) and 24 animals which are lion, camel, elephant, xiezhi (a mythological unicorn), qilin (one of the four “divine animals, the other three are dragon, phoenix and tortoise), and horse. There are 4 of each of these animals: two standing and two squatting.


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