Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Aloha to Beijing - The Sacred Road

Day Three took us to the Sacred Road.   From Wikipedia (link),

The site of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Tombs was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui principles. According to these, bad spirits and evil winds descending from the North must be deflected; therefore, an arc-shaped area at the foot of the Jundu Mountains north of Beijing was selected. This 40 square kilometer area — enclosed by the mountains in a pristine, quiet valley full of dark earth, tranquil water and other necessities as per Feng Shui — would become the necropolis of the Ming Dynasty.

A seven kilometer road named the "Spirit Way" (Shéndào) leads into the complex, lined with statues of guardian animals and officials. 

Each animal is first depicted as "kneeling" to honor the passing of the emperor's casket.

The animal then stands to attention to guard the emperor's casket.

Above is the Shi; below is the Xiezhi.

From Cultural China (link),

Legend has it that xiezhi is a divine goat which, upon seeing a quarrel or fight, would reach out its horn to touch the side which is wrong. It is so upright that it never compromises its principle even if the wrong side is an emperor.  In his autobiography, Pu Yi, the last Qing emperor, also mentioned xiezhi by saying that the emperor had a statue of the mythological goat in front of his desk to remind himself that he should be fair and strict in handling state and political affairs.

The camel was vital to the Silk Road.

The elephant demonstrates strength ...

... enough to hold my family!

We posted by the standing elephant ...

...  just like Mao when he visited the tombs.

The emperors first used horses for polo, not battle.

 The statues were incredible,

considering their age, exposure to the elements, and survival through centuries of war.

We chuckled at the signs!


Kim in Korea


  1. Love the statues although that sure doesn't look like a goat to me lol.

  2. Incredible pics Kim. Looks like you're having fun. xx

  3. Glad the flames are not naked.

  4. Awesome Statues...I am So Jealous .
    Have a good one Ann/alba

  5. That's a funny sign. :) I think it really means no fire or no smoking from my limited chinese! :)

  6. I love the statues and the sign is funny, although I am sure that the translation was a little off, LOL.

  7. I would love to see those statues. Really very cool.

  8. You right. The statues are incredible. My favorite is the camel.

  9. Love the camel statue. Finally, a photo of Kim! Yay!

  10. The statues are amazing and the level of detail shines through your pcitures.