Why Visit Zhaoling Mausoleum (Beiling Park)

In the middle of Beiling Park (北陵公园), the largest park in Shenyang, lies the mausoleum of Emperor Huangtaiji and Empress Xiaozhuang - "Zhaoling (清昭陵)", also known as “Beiling”. Zhaoling is one of the most representative imperial tombs of the early Qing Dynasty in northeast China, and one of the most intact ancient imperial tombs in China.

Covered with verdure, Beiling Park enjoys a quiet and beautiful environment. Towering ancient pine trees, rippling clear lake, stately palaces and dazzling glazed tiles, fully show the majesty of the royal mausoleum and the elegance of the modern garden. The over 300-year-old ancient pines are still standing tall and straight, guarding the royal garden like loyal guards.

Every spring and summer, the secluded park is full of green, suitable for escaping summer heat, enjoying lotus, rafting on the lake and feeling the vibrant vitality of history. In winter, the park shows a beautiful northern snow scene. The antique park is drowned in white, makes people linger. During festivals, there are Qing Dynasty National Culture performances and sacrificial performances. Zhaoling is the best place to learn about the history, culture and the architectural traditions of the Qing Dynasty.

Attractions in Zhaoling Mausoleum, Beiling Park

Zhaoling Mausoleum

The main buildings of Zhaoling are located on the central axis, and other buildings are symmetrically distributed on both sides. Zhaoling is mainly composed of three parts.

The First Part: Dismount Monument (下马碑) to Zhenghong Gate (正红门). The main buildings are Dismount Monument, Stone Lions, ornamental columns erected in front of palaces and so on.
Dismount Monument is a symbol of the feudal hierarchy. At the Dismount Monument, officials must dismount from their horses or carriages and walk on foot to the palace according to their rank. On both sides there are exquisitely carved stone lions and ornamental columns. Not far from the Stone Bridge is the Stone Archway, located in the middle of the road leading to Zhenghong Gate. Its vivid carvings are treasures of the Qing Dynasty. After the Stone Archway (牌楼) is the Zhenghong Gate, which is the entrance of Zhaoling Mausoleum. There are pavilions on both sides of the courtyard, pavilions on the east side are for dressing and on the west side are for sacrificing.

The Second Part: From Zhenghong Gate to the Square City (方城). The main buildings are ornamental columns, stone lions, stonemythical creatures - Xie, stone kylins and stone horses. All kinds of stone carvings were originally used to ward off evil spirits, and later became a symbol of the status of the deceased.

The Third Part: The Square City (方城), The Treasure City (宝城) and the Crescent City (月牙城). Opposite to the Tablet Pavilion (碑亭) is the Long'en Gate (隆恩门). Passing the Long'en Gate, you'll enter the Square City. It is the central part of Zhaoling Mausoleum. Long'en Palace (隆恩殿) is located in the middle, behind it is the Ming Tower. There are side halls on the left and right side and turrets on four corners. Walking through the Ming Tower, there is the Treasure City. Below is the underground palace where Emperor Huangtaiji and his wife were buried.

Architecture Style of Zhaoling: As an imperial tomb, the general layout, architecture and decoration of Zhaoling Mausoleum are complete and unique. The construction not only absorbed the imperial mausoleum culture of the Central Plains, but also maintained its own national characteristics. The architectural style of Han nationality, Tibet nationality and Mongolia nationality is ingeniously integrated with the architectural culture of Manchu, forming a unique style different from the tombs of the Ming and Qing dynasties in Beijing. It is the quintessence of ancient Chinese architecture and a model of multi-ethnic cultural exchange.

Zhaoling Beiling Park Beiling Park Layout Map
Zhaoling, Beiling Park Stone Archway and Zhenghong Gate
©一个虫虫的旅行 / sohu.com
Zhaoling, Beiling Park Long'en Gate
©一个虫虫的旅行 / sohu.com

Area North from Zhaoling Mausoleum - Ancient Pine Trees Group

Apart from the Zhaoling Mausoleum, another highlight of Beiling Park is pine trees for miles. There are more than 2,000 ancient pines, over 300-year-old, swaying and towering. These verdant pines contrast with golden tiles and red walls constitute another magnificent landscape. Among them, "The Sacred Tree", "The Phoenix Tree", "The Couple Tree", "The Sister Tree", "The Turtle Tree" are more distinctive.

Area South from Zhaoling Mausoleum - Gardens & Lakes

The natural landscape in front of the mausoleum is colorful. On the east and west sides of the main road, there are Lotus Island (荷花岛), Garden of Flowers (百花园), Friendship Garden (友谊园), Fangxiu Garden (芳秀园), Willow Embankment (柳堤) and Waterside Overlooking Pavilion (眺望水榭), etc., among which Fangxiu Garden and Willow Embankment can be regarded as the bests in all landscapes.

Fangxiu Garden covers an area of 40,000 square meters and has nearly 200 kinds of plants. Throughout the garden, there are flowers in spring, shades in summer, fruits in autumn, snow in winter, peculiar flowers and stones, small bridges and flowing river, which shows quite the beauty of gardens south of the Yangtze River. The architecture and landscape in the park are ingeniously integrated, combining the natural beauty and artificial beauty with the traditional Chinese Garden Architecture Art, forming a natural picture scroll.

The park also has a 300-thousand-square-meter artificial lake (The East Lake). In summer, the lake is rippling with blue waves and the shore is shaded with willows. Riding a pedalo or taking a speed boat on the lake, visitors can experience quite a different kind of fun.

Zhaoling, Beiling Park Ancient Pine Trees Group
Zhaoling, Beiling Park The East Lake in Beiling Park

Extend Reading of Zhaoling - “Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties”

Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, quoted from World Heritage List of unesco.org: It represents the addition of three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning to the Ming tombs inscribed in 2000 and 2003. The Three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning Province include the Yongling Tomb, the Fuling Tomb, and the Zhaoling Tomb, all built in the 17th century. Constructed for the founding emperors of the Qing Dynasty and their ancestors, the tombs follow the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory. They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The three tomb complexes, and their numerous edifices, combine traditions inherited from previous dynasties and new features of Manchu civilization. (More extend readings please see https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1004/)

The Three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning Province

Yongling Tomb (清永陵): Located at the foot of Qiyun Mountain northwest of Yongling Town, Xinbin Manchu Autonomous County, Liaoning Province, Yongling is the ancestral tomb of the Qing Emperors. It buried the sixth ancestor of nurhachi - Menggetiemuer (猛哥帖木儿) and his wife, etc. From 1682 to 1829, Emperor Kangxi, Qianlong, Jiaqing and Daoguang, etc. visited Yongling nine times to worship their ancestors.

Fuling Tomb (清福陵): Located in Dongling Park in the eastern suburbs of Shenyang city, Fuling is the mausoleum of Nurhachi (努尔哈赤), the founder of the Qing Dynasty, and his Empress Xiaoci. Here you can not only feel the momentum of the royal cemetery, but also enjoy the quiet natural environment.

Zhaoling, Beiling Park Fuling Tomb ©沈阳故宫博物院 / lvzhou

How to Get to Zhaoling, Beiling Park

Zhaoling Mausoleum is located in Beiling Park, No. 12 Taishan Road, Huanggu District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. Travelers may get to Shenyang city by flight and high-speed train, etc. first and then take a taxi, metro to reach Beiling Park.

Check more about Shenyang Transportation: Get to Shenyang by Flight, High-speed Trains and Car >>

Zhaoling, Beiling Park

Private Car Service of China Discovery (Convenient and Affordable)

No matter whether you are visiting Shenyang by flight or train, booking a private tour with pick-up service is the most convenient way to explore highlights in the city. There is also no further need to ask for a taxi or search for the bus station with your heavy luggage. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Zhaoling (Beiling Park) with speed and convenience, and our English-speaking guide will take care of all the details and accompany you the whole journey. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!

By Metro (Budget Choice)

The closest metro station to Beiling park is Beilinggongyuan Station (北陵公园) on Line 2. After arriving, travelers are suggested to go out from Exit A, then walk around 200 meters, you will reach the northwest gate of Beiling Park. (Notice: Information given above is only for your reference, might change according to the real situation.)

By Taxi (Good Choice)

You can also take a taxi to get there. As the capital of Liaoning Province, Shenyang has a convenient public transport network. It is easy to get a taxi in the downtown area. However, if you are planning to visit places a little bit far from the city center, like the Liaoning Provincial Museum, Qipan Mountain and Benxi, etc. Private car services are more recommended.

More Attractions around Zhaoling

Mukden Palace (沈阳故宫)

Address: No. 171, Shenyang Road, Shenhe District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province. (沈阳市沈河区沈阳路171号); about 8 kilometers and 30~40 minutes away from Beiling Park by car.

Built in 1625, it was the imperial palace in the early Qing Dynasty. Mukden Palace is one of the two intact palace complexes in China. It is famous at home and abroad for its exquisite ancient palace buildings and rich precious collections. In 2004, it was added to the World Cultural Heritage List.

Marshal Zhang Mansion (张氏帅府博物馆)

Address: No.46, Shaoshuaifu Alley, Chaoyang Street, Shahe District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province. (沈阳市沈河区朝阳街少帅府巷46号); about 7 kilometers and 20~30 minutes away from Beiling Park by car.

Marshal Zhang Mansion was the residence site of former army marshal Zhang Zuolin and his son Zhang Xueliang. Built in 1914, it was inscribed on the 20th Century Architecture Heritage List of China in 2017. There are different styles of architecture in the palace. Among them, the Roman style blue brick building - "Daqinglou (大青楼)" is a landmark building.

Liaoning Provincial Museum (辽宁省博物馆)

Address: No. 157 Zhihui Third Street, Hunnan New District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (辽宁省沈阳市浑南新区智慧三街157号); about 22 kilometers and 60 minutes away from Beiling Park by car.

As the first museum established in New China, the Liaoning Provincial Museum has many great treasures worth admiring, for example, the Auspiciou Cranes (瑞鹤图) by Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty. It is the best place to learn about the history of Shenyang city and Liaoning Province.

Check more about Top 6 Attractions & Things to Do in Shenyang >>

Zhaoling, Beiling Park Mukden Palace ©calvision / pixabay
Zhaoling, Beiling Park Marshal Zhang Mansion ©wechat / 张氏帅府公众号
Zhaoling, Beiling Park Auspiciou Cranes (瑞鹤图) ©lnmuseum.com

How to Plan a Shenyang Tour?

It takes 1~2 days to visit the essence of Shenyang City. Take 1 day to visit Marshal Zhang Mansion and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Mukden Palace and Zhaoling Park and another half day or a day to meet national treasures at Liaoning Provincial Museum.

☛ 2 Days Classic Shenyang Tour

For those who are visiting Shenyang in autumn, you can extend your trip to Benxi (1~2 days) and have a “red maple” chasing journey by driving along Hengben Road, visiting Yanghugou, Laobiangou, Guanmenshan and the world's longest underground water-filled cave - Benxi Water Cave.

Some of our guests also prefer to spend more days and have a classic northeast China tour, which normally takes 8~9 days. Visit Shenyang together with highlights in Dalian (1~2 days), Jilin(1 Day), Changchun (1 Day), Harbin (3~6 days) and Changbai Mountain (2~3 Days), etc.

☛ 8 Days Northeast China Tour with Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Travel Shenyang with China Discovery

Looking for a historical tour but feel hard to arrange your day by day itinerary and site to site transportation? Travel with us China Discovery and let our experienced travel consultant help you. We know Mukden Palace and all highlights of Shenyang well and we have helped numerous visitors to enjoy a tour there. If you go with us, we will customize a Shenyang Tour for you! Your guide will accompany you all the way and show you the best viewing and photography spots.

The tour is tailor-made according to your interests, budget, group size and every special need! If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!

Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions Benxi Guanmen Mountain
© 搜狐 / 南方Plus客户端
Things to Do in Shenyang, Shenyang Attractions Dalian City
© 搜狐 / 热风DL

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Our customers Jenn’s group from Canada visited Sun Island in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China in December 2020.

3 Days Classic Harbin Winter Tour


Dazheng Palace of Mukden Palace (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site)

2 Days Classic Shenyang Tour with Mukden Palace Cultural Exploration


Songhua River Ice Rime

8 Days Northeast China Tour with Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Harbin / Jilin / Changchun / Shenyang / Dalian

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit