China's only princess tomb to be unveiled during National Day

15:26, July 15, 2010      

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The only princess tomb that has been discovered in China so far is finally about to be unveiled after being covered with dust for 400 years, according to a report from the China News Web site on July 13.

The tomb is being repaired with the strong support of the provincial and municipal cultural relics units in China and is expected to be opened to domestic and overseas tourists during the National Day Holiday, according to the Xinxiang municipal government in Henan province.

The total area of the princess tomb is 35,000 square meters. The tomb houses Princess Zhao, the second princess of Zhu Yiliu, and Prince Lu, the brother of Zhu Yijun, the Shenzong Emperor during the Ming Dynasty.

The tomb is located at the foot of Fenghuang Mountain in Xinxiang. It is majestic and grand in scale and includes towers over the city gates, a memorial arch, the Lingen Gate, a worship palace, the Lingxing Gate, the Minglou, a mound and an underground palace.

The cemetery was divided by the inner city wall and the outer city wall. Both the princess tomb and Prince Lu's tomb are included in the national heritage conservation units and have been included on the prepared list of World Cultural Heritages.

Historical records show that Prince Lu's mother, the Queen Mother Li, arranged for him to marry Zhao during the Ming Dynasty's Wanli period. Because Miss Zhao was intelligent, generous and apprehensive and their marriage was supported by the Queen Mother, Zhao enjoyed a considerable status in the royal palace.

She was given the title of Minor Princess by Emperor Wanli after her death. Princess Zhao's tomb stood side-by-side with Prince Lu's, which is very rare in the architectural history of Chinese emperors' tombs. This area momentarily flourished due to an eminent monk from Wutai Mountain who built a temple there during the Shunzhi period in the Qing Dynasty.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


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