Laatste dag China 2016: Nanjing

Zoals al te zien was in een paar blogs
was de laatste dag in China in Nanjing.
Deze stad ook wel bekend onder de oude naam Nanking,
ligt op een niet al te grote afstand van Shanghai.
Daar is het eerste Ming-graf te bezoeken in wat men noemt
de Ming Tomb Scenic Area.
Het graf is misschien niet het mooiste Ming-graf en de omgeving
is veel meer verstedelijkt dan bij de graven die ten noorden
van Beijing te zien zijn maar het is wel het oudste graf.
Het heeft als voorbeeld gediend voor alle Minggraven die volgden.

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A brief introduction of the Ming Tomb scenic area.

The Ming Tomb, situated at Single-dragon Mound south of Zhongshan Mountain, is the tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang (1328 – 1398), founder of the Ming Dynasty.
Its construction project undertaken in 1381 lasted for more than 30 years until the Tablet of Great Merits was erected in 1413.
Once enclosed by a red wall of 22,5 kilometers in circumference, it is among the largest royal tombs ever existed in China.
The Ming Tomb has suffered a lot since completed.
What still exist include the Tablet Pavilion (known as “Square City”, Sacred Avenue, Tablet Hall, Sacrificial Palace (Xiaoling Palace). Rectangular Walls, Ming Tower and Treasure Mound.
In the preludial section from Xiama Archway to Gold Water Bridge, the most eye-catching views may be the stone sculptures along the Sacred Avenue.
Passing through the Gold Water Bridge, you step into the main body of the tomb and step into the history.
Other attractions in this area include the Plum Blossom Hill, The Plum Blossum Valley, the Art World of Red Mansions, the Zi Xia Lake, etc.


Onderwerp van deze blog zijn twee elementen uit de opsomming hierboven:
de ‘Sacred Way’ en ‘Shen Gong Sheng De Stele Building’.
De Sacred Way is de weg die naar het complex leidt waar onder andere
het grafgebouw te zien is.
Langs de weg staan stenen beelden van (mythische) dieren.

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Stone Elephant Road.

Stone Elephant Road, 615 meters long, is the first section of the Sacred Way.
Along this road are six kinds of stone animals including lions, Xiezhi, camels, elephants, unicorns and horses.
Carved out of whole pieces of stonein full relief with smooth lines, these animals are imposing in look and bold in style.
They not onlt indicate the loftiness, sanctity and glamour of the imperial tomb, but also achieve a symbolic effect of guarding the tomb against evil spirits and showing ritual customs.


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Het paard.

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The horse was part of the emporer’s honor guard during court ceremonies of the Ming Dynasty.
Therefore, stone horses were a must in front of the imperial tomb.
With spirited eyes and proud look, they seem to be flaunting the merits of their imperial owner before death.


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Het paard.


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The unicorn, an auspicious creature of ancient Chinese fantasy, integrates the features of the tiger, lion, ox and dragon.
As the legend goes, it appeared only in the reign of a benevolent and wise emperor.
Therefore, no one except the emperor had it before his tomb.

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De eenhoorn met daarin eigenschappen van de tijger, de leeuw, de os en de draak.


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De olifant.

The stone elephants are featured by simplicity and vividness.
Elephants were placed on the sacred way of imperial tombs as early as in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AS 25 – 220) and this practice continued in the Ming Dynasty.

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De dieren staan paarsgewijs langs de weg:
een aan de linkerkant en een rechts.
Soms in een iets andere houding.
Door de jaren heen zijn ze zwaar beschadigd.
Zo heeft de eenhoorn geen hoorn meer, ontbreken (delen van) oren,
poten, staarten enzovoort. Maar de indruk die de beelden geven,
blijft imposant.

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De kameel/dromedaris.

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The practice of putting stone camels in front of a tomb was initiated after the completion of the Ming Tomb.
By doing so the emporer intended to show off this national strength, and symbolize peace in the Western Regions (inhabited by the minority nationalities) and prosperity of the nation.


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De Xiezhi.

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Xiezhi, a bear-eyed unicorn, also named Renfashou, is a legendary animal standing for justice.
It is said that Xiezhi can identify the evil person in a flight by hitting him with his horn.
It is placed before the tomb to show uprightness.


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De leeuw.

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The lion is generally known as “King of all beasts” for its inborn agility and ferocity over other animals.
It is honored in Buddhism as a holy beast protecting Buddhist doctrines.
Stone lions in front of the imperial tomb demonstrate the emporer’s unparalled dignaty and power.

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De leeuw in vooraangezicht.


Terwijl we terug naar het metrostation lopen (en het restaurant)
komen we nog langs een grote stele gebouw.
Een gebouw gebouwd over een hele grote steen (denk Obelix of
de Hunnebedbouwers in Drenthe) met daarop een tekst.
Vaak bevat de tekst een ode aan een persoon.

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Shen Gong Sheng De Stele Building was built in the eleventh year of Ming Yongle (AD 1413).
The plan of the building is square because of the damage on the roof, so it is commonly called as the “Si Fang Cheng”.
The stele named “Shen Gong Sheng De Monument Stele of Ming Xiaoling” is seated in the Si Fang Cheng by Ming Yongle Emperor, Zhu Di.
The stone tablet, written by Zhu Di himself, contains 2746 Chinese characters and records the life story of his father and the founder of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang.
The stele is the biggest stele monument in Nanjing city area.
In 2012, approved by the National Cultural Relics Bureau. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum Authority Bureau implemented a protection engineering project to the Shen Gong Sheng De stele Building.

De Engelse vertaling is niet geweldig, vermoed ik,
maar mijn Chinees is nog minder.

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Shen Gong Shen De. Het is goed te zien dat het gebouw en vooral het dak recent gerestaureerd zijn.


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Hier zie je de enorme stele (steen) midden in het gebouw.


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Het plafond boven de stele.


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Helaas, tijd om naar huis te gaan.


Shanghai – Nanjing 2016

Enkele jaren geleden bezocht in Beijing.
Ten noorden van Beijing bevinden zich de Ming-graven.
In een prachtig gelegen valei tussen de heuveld liggen de
graven en de monumenten die bij die graven liggen met
een Sacred Way (heilig pad) er naar toe.

Maar de oudste Ming tomb ligt bij Nanjing, de eerste
hoofdstad van China.
Die bezocht ik afgelopen september.
Vanaf het metrostation loop je naar een soort cultuur park
met als een van de complexen dit graf.
Je komt bij het graf over een pad met beelden.

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Een minister.


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Wengzhong Path

Wengzhong Path, 250 meters long, constitutes the second section of the Sacred Way.
This section is flanked by a pair of balusters, two pairs of generals and two pairs of civil officials.
The balusters, with a cylinder crown at the top as well as cloud and dragon designs over the column, have changed the convention of topping the balusters along the Sacred Way with lotus-flower design since the Tang and Sond Dynasties.
It is of innovative significance in art.
The statues of the genrals and officials stand there with great dignity, guarding the tomb with their loyalty.


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Het gebied is een World Heritage Monument. De naam is de Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty.

Xiaoling Tomb Of The Ming Dynasty
Xiaoling (Filiai Tomb) is the burial place
of Zhu Yuanzhang, founding emperor of the
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) The architectural
system, inheriting from its predecessors while
creating a new standard of its own, was
followed by all the other imperial tombs of the
Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1911) for more
than 500 years, and thus accupied a milestone
position in the history of the system of ancient
Chinese imperial tombs.


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De ligging is prachtig en het weer was goed.


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Het is een heel complex met allerlei attracties. Heerlijk om er te wandelen.


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De toegangspoort tot het eigenlijke complex.


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In het stele-gebouw (Wen Wu Fang Men (The Gate of the Civil and the Military)) zie je altijd een schildpad (eeuwigheid) met op de rug inscripties over de keizer. In dit geval ook van een latere keizer.


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Huisje om beschreven documenten te verbranden.

Placed before the Sacrificial Hall on each side of it’s gate, the pair of Sacrificial Censers are actually two small temple-shaped buildings made of yellow and green glazed materials.
The censers are covered with single – eave gable-and-hip roofs. The gate in the middle of the buildings’ front wall leads to a small chamber where pieces of paper (on which characters are inscribed to call back the spirit of the dead) used for sacrificial ceremonies are burnt.


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De paraplu is tegen de zon. Sacrificial Hall.


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Het monument en de natuur vechten om voorrang.


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Sacrificial Hall, also known as Xiaoling Hall, is one of the main buildings og the Ming tomb. It was built in the 16th year under thei reign of Emperor Hong Wu (AD 1383) for the memorial tablets of Zhu Yuangzhang and his empress and concubines. It was a huge wooden structure with 9 bays in width and 5 in depth based on three layers of stone Xumizuo, with 56 stone column bases left behind today. The original building was destroyed during the war in the 3rd year under the reign of Qing Emperor Xian Feng (AD 1853). It was rebuilt during the reign of Qing Emperor Tongzhi.


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Inner Red Gate. Het laatste gebouw voordat we bij de eigenlijke tombe aankomen. Daar meer over de volgende keer.

Inner Red Gate
In the North of the Sacrificial Hall, there is a gate, Commonly called Yinyang Gate and alsotermed as Inner Red Gate, as it leads to the residence of the soul of the deceased.
The gate devides the tomb palace building into the front area and the rear area,
i.e. a layout of the tomb palace marked by “the court in front and the residing place in the rear” first established in the Ming Tomb.
Originally, Inner Red Gate was a red gate with three passages going through and its top was covered with yellow glazed tiles.
In 2006, the Administration of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum renovated the gate according to its original form as a rescue, thus restored its historical appearance.


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Het in 2006 gerestaureerde dak van de Inner Red Gate.