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Qianling

Located on the northern peak of Liangshan Mountain in Qianxian County, Qianling was the tomb of the Tang Emperor Gao Zong (r. 650683) and his consort, Empress Wu Zetian (624705). There are many subsidiary tombs of nobles and ranking officials in the area surrounding Qianling, which has a circumference of forty kilometers. One of the eighteen imperial tombs of the Tang Dynasty in the Guanzhong area, Qianling was never excavated or vandalized; because it is intact, it is of particularly great historical value.
In front of Qianling stands a large group of stone statues that were carved on the order of Empress Wu Zetian to commemorate the funeral of Emperor Gao Zong. Sixty-one of the figures represent foreign envoys attended the funeral. Dressed in their national costumes, these life-size statues stand on either side of the passage to the tomb, hands cupped to the chest in a gesture of prayer. This seems to indicate that close relations existed at that time between China and various other regions.
Near Qianling are the tombs of Princess Yongtai and Prince Zhanghuai. Murals of great artistic value have been found here in excavated underground chambers.


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