Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

Location

5 km from northern foot of Mount Li, east of Lintong District, Xian, Shaanxi Province, China

Reasons to visit

A UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Qin Shi Huang)

Our Ratings

Opening Hours

  • 8:30-17:00

The Mausoleum of Emperor Qing Shi Huang is situated at the foot of Mount Li and 2 km west of the Terracotta Army. It is the largest preserved underground tomb in the world. According to the biography Emperor Qin from the Records of the Grand Historian, more than 720,000 laborers were sent to build the Mausoleum. The mausoleum was constructed from 246 to 208 BC, lasted over 38 years, which is 8 year longer than the construction of Khufu Pyramid in Egypt.

 
The layout of themausoleum is modeled on the capital of Qin, Xianyang. In size, the mausoleum is larger than the Great pyramid in Egypt. The mound of the mausoleum is 55.05 meters high and 2000 meters in girth. Through investigating finding, originally, the mausoleum covers an area of 220 square km, and it has large-scale palace Pavilion buildings. The mausoleum construction can be divided into two part, an interior city and an exterior city. Between the interior and the exterior city are the sites of gardens, temples, stalls and the houses for officials. The underground palace which located right under the mound is the core of the mausoleum. In the center of the palace is housing the coffin of the Emperor Qin.
 
The Qin Empire is really a marvelous page in the history of China. Plus the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang almost represent the highest achievement of the civilization in Qin Dynasty.


 

Layout Structure

The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang divided into two parts of cemetery and burial area, the cemetery covers an area of nearly 8 square kilometers.

Tomb of approximate square, flat at the top and its waist slightly presented stepped appearance, the height of 76 meters, 345 meters long, from north to south 350 meters wide, covers an area of 120750 square meters. Cemetery centered on the pyramid-shaped, surrounded by many buried distribution.
 
Imitated Architecture of Xianyang City
The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is the first emperor cemetery in the China history, the cemetery, according to the principle of "treated death the same as alive", modeled on the layout of the capital city Xianyang of Qin dynasty, general it is rectangular-ambulatory-plane.
 
Grave mound as the core, The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang has a twofold wall of inside and outside wall and all rounds are tall gate, is where the empire mandated penalty and civilized intercourse and statute.

Majestic gates and sleeping chambers building group, and more than six hundred subordinate tombs and funerary pits, together constituted the complete form of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the ground. And this kind of form is clearly imitating palace and the capital structure of capital Xianyang in Qin dynasty.
 

Main Buildings

【City Wall】
The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang has a twofold wall of inside and outside, inside and outside walls are about 8 to 10 meters high, and today there is still remaining sites.

Inner city is rectangular, perimeter of 3840 meters, in the north wall there are 2 doors, and in the east, west and south there is one door each wall, inside is grave mound. Outer city is rectangular, perimeter of 6210 meters; the four corners of walls have one door per wall. Burial area is in the south, sleeping chamber and palaces complex are in the north.
 
【Graves Mound】
Grave Mound of The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is three-level ladder, shaped like funnel, approximate square at the bottom.

Han inherited Qin system, in Qin dynasty, one chi is about 23 cm, 50 zhangs is about 115 meters. In Qin dynasty one li is 414 meters, five li is 2070 m. The bottom of the grave mound area is of about 250000 square meters, 115 meters high; this probably is the size of the The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang at the beginning. But after more than two thousand of the erosion of natural and artificial exploitation, the existing grave mound is smaller than the original one, now the bottom of the grave mound area is of about 120000 square meters, is 87 meters high.
 
【Underground Palace】
Below the grave mound is underground palace which is square. Underground palace is the center of all buildings of The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. According to archaeological discovery, the underground palace has area of about 180000 square meters, center depth of about 30 meters. Underground palace is placed in coffin and implements buried with emperor, it is the core of the Qin tomb construction.
 
【Palace Wall】
It was verified that the palace wall is about 168 meters long, from north to south is 141 meters, the south wall is 16 meters wide, 22 meters wide at the north wall.

Wall is done with multilayer fine soil compaction, and each layer is about 5 ~ 6 cm thick, very delicate and strong. In the process while built, in order to detect whether the soil compaction of wall was hard, construction personnel will stand at a distance with bows and arrows shot wall, the constructors would shoot arrow and if the arrow could be plugged into the wall then the wall must be torn down. The wall was much higher than the ground of the Qin dynasty, and the entire wall is about 30 meters high, very spectacular. This palace is unprecedented, and this new form of burial could be called "Qin Tomb Type".
 

How to get to The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

You may take green bus No.306 tourism line from Train Station to there. It is recommended to spend 2 to 3 hours to visit there.