Zenfolio | Polly & David Bean | Sacred Way to the Ming Tombs
Created 21-Oct-14
22 photos

Leading to Chinese Imperial Tombs, there usually is a Sacred Way (or Divine Road) – the road leading to heaven. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also deservedly would return to Heaven through this road.

The road is lined with stone statues. These statues include twelve human figures (the general, civil officials and meritorious officials) and 24 animals which are lion, camel, elephant, xiezhi (a mythological unicorn), qilin (one of the four "divine animals, the other three are dragon, phoenix and tortoise), and horse. There are four of each of these animals: two standing and two squatting with different meanings.

Lion symbolizes awesome solemnity because of their ferocity. Camel and elephant are meant to suggest the vastness of the territory controlled by the court, because they are dependable transport in desert and tropics. Xiezhi was put there to keep evil spirits away, because it was believed to possess the sixth sense to tell right and wrong. Qilin, an auspicious symbol, was placed on two sides. Horse, as the emperor's mount, is absolutely indispensable. It is said that these animals is supposed to change guard at midnight.

(source: www.travelchinaguide.com)

Start of the Sacred Way

Start of the Sacred Way

The Lion

The Lion

The Xiezhi

The Xiezhi

Crouching Camel

Crouching Camel

Standing Camel

Standing Camel

Crouching Elephant

Crouching Elephant

Standing Elephant

Standing Elephant

Standing Qilin

Standing Qilin

Crouching Horse

Crouching Horse

Standing Horse

Standing Horse

A Warlike General

A Warlike General

A Civil Official

A Civil Official

A "Meritorious Official"

A "Meritorious Official"

DSC_3296

DSC_3296

Twice as tall as Polly.

Twice as tall as Polly.

Polly demonstrating that she is not an evil spirit.

Polly demonstrating that she is not an evil spirit.

Jade factory visit

Jade factory visit

David particularly liked this piece.

David particularly liked this piece.

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