Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 2 ~ Beijing ~ Underground Palace

After The Great Wall we visited the Underground Palace.  It's an underground tomb of one of the Ming Emperors.  But first we walked the "Sacred Way of the Animals" which guards the tomb.

 We had to drive from the "Walk" to the tomb.  Which I thought was strange.  On the way I got a couple of interesting pictures.  The one above is of the trees that are painted.  They are painted to keep insects off.  It must work because they are painted everywhere.

Then below, if you look at the tree behind the man there are brown bags hanging on the tree.  It actually is wrapped around an apple.  As the apple grows a Chinese symbol is pressed into the apple skin.  The symbol stands for prosperity, good fortune, long life... We realized many symbols on souvenirs mean one of those.  :)

 Only Cypress trees can grow inside the tomb.
 The trees with a green plaque means the tree is over 300 years old.

A red plaque is over 500 years old.
 The Chinese people must not understand what luxuriant means.  ;)
 The tomb is under this hill.

 The rear chamber is the main chamber of the underground palace.  Inside the chamber, there was a coffin bed, on which the coffins of the Emperor and Empresses where placed.  The coffin of the Emperor was in the middle and those of the Empresses where on both sides.  Jade materials were found between the coffins.  The burial articles for the Emperor and Empress were kept in 26 cases made of nanmu (a kind of hard wood) on the sides of each coffin.  When the underground palace was opened, part of the coffins and burial articles had become decayed.   The coffins and cases containing the burial articles on display at present  are the copies of the original ones.

These little shoes are what Chinese women used to wear.  In fact, our guide told us her grandmother used to wrap her feet so they could remain small.  Lisa said her feet looked like chicken feet.

1 comment:

nikko said...

I haven't commented much, but I am really enjoying your pics from China. What an amazing place!