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Xianling Mausoleum

The Xianling Mausoleum is located in Songlin Mountain, 7.5 kilometers north of Zhongxiang County, Hubei Province.

The Xianling Mausoleum used to be called the Imperial Mausoleum, and covered an area of some 600 mu (1 mu=1/5 of a hectare). Built in 1520 and completed 20 years later, the mausoleum belonged to Zhu Youyuan, the father of Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and his mother, surnamed Jiang. The mausoleum's scale and memorial system are more or less comparable to other imperial mausoleums.

The mausoleum is surrounded by red walls with a 3.6-kilometer circumference and a 1,300-meter-long passageway paved with flagstones. On both sides of the passageway is a pair of stone pillars, lions, camels, elephants, unicorns, sitting and standing horses and two pairs of statues of generals and arts ministers. Located at the back are two halls. Although the halls were deserted by the end of the Ming Dynasty, glass flowers, walls with two engraved dragons, stone hall bases and stone-carved rails, which are highly esteemed in the fine arts, still exist. At the back of the mausoleum is the Ying City, or the Treasure City, which houses two large mausoleums belonging to Zhu Youyuan and his wife. The sewer in the front of the city is decorated with 99 marvelous white marble dragonheads. 

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