Why are the Western Xia Imperial Tombs special?
The Western Xia Imperial Tombs are among the largest and best preserved imperial cemeteries in China, also known as “the bright cultural pearl at the foot of the Helan Mountains” and a great tourist resort where people can explore and appreciate the culture of the Western Xia. People usually call it "the mysterious wonder" or "the oriental pyramid".
Western Xia Imperial Tombs Highlights
The Western Xia Dynasty
The Western Xia was a feudal dynasty established in the early 11th century ruled by the Dangxiang Clan. It lasted for some 190 years under the realm of ten emperors. Most emperors of the Western Xia Dynasty (1038-1227) were buried here.
The Western Xia History Art Museum
Based on the historical events of the Western Xia, 18 groups of artistic scenes and 160 figure statues in the Western Xia History Art Museum inside the Western Xia imperial cemetery represent the glorious civilization of the Western Xia Dynasty, recalling the years when the Dangxiang Clan expanded the frontiers of their country, abolishing slavery, reforming the civil system, and creating their writing characters.
Each tomb covers an average area of more than 100,000 sq m, with underground burial chambers, and buildings and gardens on the ground. All the mausoleum gardens faced south, and their architectural forms above ground have some unique characteristics, and they are quite similar to mausoleums of the Tang and Northern Song dynasty since the Western Xia was once in very close relationship with them. One point worthy of attention is that in making use of, and learning from, the experiences of the Tang and the Song, the Western Xia were quite selective and creative. This is demonstrated in the architectural style of the Western Xia mausoleums.