Friday, August 20, 2010

Beijing: Sacred Way

On our way to the Great Wall of China, we stopped at Sacred Way, part of the Ming Dynasty Tombs 50 kilometers north of Beijing.  Emperor Yongle (1402-1424) moved the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing.  During this time, he selected this area north of Beijing as sacred ground for Emperors to be buried.  13 Emperors were buried near this area.  This particular tomb, is named after the Sacred Way.  The Sacred Way is the road leading to Heaven.  They believed that Emperors were the "Sons of Heaven" and that they'd return to Heaven on this road.  The path is slightly curved to fool evil spirits.  The statues of animals and humans along the path are there to be "guards of honor."
The Emperor's Mausoleum
One more stop before the Great Wall.  We stopped at a Jade Factory.  Jade to China is like diamonds to westerners.  Jade is supposed to promote peace and each piece is cut to be very symbolic.  I bought some Jade a the Jade Temple in Shanghai for my family.  The circle represents family staying together peacefully as well as a peaceful journey for yourself.
We had lunch at the Jade Factory.  mmm...I miss Chinese food!

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