Dennis Wright's Blog

The Changeling Tomb

Posted in China, Far East Cruise 2007, Video by Dennis Wright on June 19, 2007

It is commonly assumed that the game ping pong was invented in China. It actually started in England. Mind you, the Chinese may well have invented the pong bit, if the vile excuse for a toilet at the Changeling Tomb is anything to go by. Absolutely stomach turning.

The correct name of the place is Chang Ling (you don’t strictly need to add “tomb” because Ling means tomb). Naomi and I referred to it as the changeling tomb because it is hard to read Chang Ling without your brain “correcting” an apparent missing “e”.

Chang Ling is the tomb of 15th Century Ming Emperor Yongle who seems to have been a right busy person. His list of achievements includes establishing the Chinese capital at Beijing (it was previously Nanjing), being behind the building of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, a refortification of the Great Wall of China, and the Ming Tomb area itself including the Sacred Way. In fact, were it not for Yongle it would hardly have been worth going to the Beijing area at all.

Chang Ling is one of only three Ming Tombs to have been excavated to date. We did not visit the burial chamber itself as the treasures have been moved to an exhibition in the Hall of Eminent Favour, part of the Chang Ling complex the latter being built like a miniature version of the Forbidden City.

The Hall is supported on wooden pillars and there is a large bronze statue of Yongle in the centre.

China Chang Ling

There are a number of artifacts on display which were recovered from the tomb, including Yongle’s golden threaded crown and the Empress’s Phoenix crown …

China Chang Ling Yongle Gold Crown

China Chang Ling Empress Headdress

… and, it would seem, their ceremonial teapot. Just the thing for when the mother in law calls in for a quick cup of Oolong tea.

China Chang Ling

At the back of the complex is the Soul Tower which contains a stele.

China Chang Ling Soul Tower

China Chang Ling Soul Tower

Note: The video below is high bitrate. Playing time 1:21.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Hall of Eminent Favour viewed from Soul Tower.

China Chang Ling

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5 Responses

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  1. Dennis Wright said, on February 20, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    The reference to “changeling” was a joke, Brian. It is all explained in the text.

  2. Brian said, on February 20, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    That would be Changling not Changeling

    • Harsh said, on May 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Foreign institutions holnidg the Yongle Dadian should return those copies to the China. Especially when those copies were looted from the Imperial Library. Keeping them hidden in Foreign Libraries is like keeping the Gutenberg bible or the original Shakespeare manuscripts in Asian Museums.

    • Adriana said, on November 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Foreign institutions hdniolg the Yongle Dadian should return those copies to the China. Especially when those copies were looted from the Imperial Library. Keeping them hidden in Foreign Libraries is like keeping the Gutenberg bible or the original Shakespeare manuscripts in Asian Museums.

  3. […] Hasta la vista, Vista! Vista is on trial and my XP install disk is within easy reach « The suckiness of Vista was evident long ago The majority of Vista PCs being sold right now aren’t powerful enough to run Vista » The Changeling Tomb June 19th, 2007 This post has been moved here. […]


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