City Flash

Yongling Museum: The Only Above-ground Mausoleum in China

Covering a land of 54,000 m2, Yongling Museum, located at No. 10 Yongling Road, Jinniu District of Chengdu, is a mausoleum-based museum built upon the Wang Jian's Tomb, one of the first key protection cultural relics in China. Yongling, also called Wang Jian's Tomb, is the mausoleum of Wang Jian (847–918), the founding emperor of the Former Shu Kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It's the only known emperor's tomb built above the ground in China. "Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms" comes from the New History of Five Dynasties as a collective reference to the Five Dynasties (907–960) and the Ten Kingdoms (891–979), which is from the end of Tang dynasty to the start of Northern Song dynasty.


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Yongling Museum consists of three parts: the cultural relics protection zone, the comprehensive hall, and the garden protection zone. A recommended tourism route is from the garden protection zone to the comprehensive hall, and then to the cultural relics protection zone. 

On the way to the comprehensive hall, you will first pass through the garden protection zone, formerly known as the "Yongling Park," which incorporates antique buildings and structures such as corridors, water pavilions, and temples. On the Musician and Dancer Statue Square, twenty-two bronze sculpture musicians have vividly displayed the stone carvings around the coffin platform of the mausoleum. Walking through the square, you could relish the royal concert in ancient times. Yongling's stone carvings are by far the most comprehensive and intuitive reflection of the music and dance scenes in Five Dynasties. On the south, east and west sides of the coffin platform are a complete set of carvings of the royal musical band. Among them, there are 2 dancers and 22 musicians playing 23 pieces of music instruments of 20 sorts. Their performance integrates the Hu music (mainly Kucha music) and the Qing music (traditional music of Han people). Compared with the like, the carving boasts the most impressive pomp and occasion and the greatest diversity of instruments involved. It finely renders the royal concert scenario in Later Tang dynasty and Five Dynasties period. 


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Heading northward, you will come to the comprehensive hall. Taking up an area of 4,000 m2 or so, the hall hosts the "History and Culture of Former and Later Shu Kingdom" exhibition. In a layout of three themed scenarios, the "Rise and Fall of the Former and Later Shu," "Millennium-old Emperor's Mausoleum" and "Spectacle of Tang", it exhibits the history of Former and Later Shu Kingdom, the unearthing of Yongling, and the cultural and artistic achievements of that time. The exhibition adopts an off-white color motif, a good match with the royal features. The partition walls, passages, installations and props are exquisitely designed and arranged to diversify the use of the exhibition space. The hall also offers videos to represent such scenes as the discovery and excavation of Yongling, the construction of the underground palace, and the Twenty-four Artist Concert (Night Banquet in Shu Emperor's Palace), allowing visitors to go through the history and culture of Yongling in an intuitive and vivid manner. 


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After visiting the comprehensive hall, you can buy a ticket at the ticket office at the front gate of Yongling Museum to visit the Yongling Underground Palace, which is hidden in lush woods, serene and solemn, with a south-north passage leading to its depth. The "jade belt," "posthumous treasure," "jade book," gold and silver lacquerware, and silver items unearthed here are exquisite artworks of extremely high cultural relic and artistic value. Put together, they have displayed us the tremendous achievement of Chengdu in economy and culture at end of Tang and the Five Dynasties period and the city's splendid history and culture in ancient times. 


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Opening hours: 

Cultural relics protection zone and comprehensive hall (8:30-18:00) and garden protection zone (6:30-22:00)

Ticket price: 

Free entry for garden protection zone; RMB 20/ ticket for cultural relics protection zone; and "free-of-charge but ticket required" for comprehensive hall, valid ID certificate required. 

Metro:

900m from Exit C1 of Fuqin Station, Metro Line 5 

Bus:

 East Yongling Road Station of Bus Line 30, 48, 54 and 341 


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