Northern Song Tombs in Gongyi

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Stone figures in Northern Song Tombs, Gongyi, Henan

Seven out of the nine emperors of the Northern Song Dynasty are buried in Gongyi County, while the last two—Emperor Huizong and Emperor Qinzong—died elsewhere as captives of the invading Jin armies. In addition to tombs to the emperors, there are also tombs for the empresses, crown princes, other princes and princesses as well as major ministers, totalling over 200. The whole area is some 15 km from north to south and 10 km from east to west.

All imperial tombs of the Northern Song are laid out alike. They are all aligned 6o east of due south, and with similar major structures, each including a “upper palace” and “lower place,” in addition to a palace where the living emperors stayed when coming to pay homage to their ancestors.