In this video, art historians Dr. Kristen Brennan and Dr. Beth Harris discuss the cultural significance of the Xiaoling Mausoleum, the elaborate resting place of Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty.
The tomb of the Hongwu Emperor lies at the southern foot of Purple Mountain, east of Nanjing. Legend says that in order to prevent robbery from the tomb, 13 identical processions of funeral troops started from 13 city gates, to obscure the real burial site.
The construction of the mausoleum began in 1381 while Zhu Yuanzhang was still living and ended in 1405, during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, his son. Construction required a huge expenditure of resources and 100,000 labourers to complete, and was built under heavy guard of 5,000 troops.
On July 3, 2003, the Xiaoling Mausoleum was included on the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
View the original video here.
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