Located at Malanyu, northwest Zunhua, Hebei Province, the Eastern Qing Tombs are 125 kilometers from Beijing. It is one of the two imperial tombs of the Qing Dynasty, the other is Western Qing Tombs.The Eastern Qing Tombs consist of the Xiaoling of Emperor Shun Zhi, Jingling of Emperor Kang Xi, Yuling of Emperor Qian Long, Dingling of Emperor Xian Feng, Huiling of Emperor Tong Zhi, four tombs of empresses including Empress Dowager Ci An and Empress Dowager Ci Xi, and five tombs of imperial concubines, in addition to a princess’ tomb.
The Eastern Qing Tombs are the largest and most complete complex of imperial tombs in China. The Yuling mausoleum of Emperor Qian Long and Dingling mausoleum of Emperor Dowager Ci Xi are the most magnificent.In 1928, the underground palaces were blown open by warlord Sun Dianying, many precious articles were looted and the tombs suffered heavy damage.
Scenery around the Eastern Qing Tombs is most beautiful. Qing government rules designated the tomb area as geomantically favorable and forbidden to people. Fifteen tombs are arranged from east to west along the southern foot of Changduan Mountain. Behind the tombs are rolling hills and in front is a long sacred way. Along the central axis of the complex form a unique natural scene is presented as the temples and palatial structures, with red walls and golden tiles among pines and cypresses of verdant green, glitter in the sunshine. They seem as islets dotting a vast green sea. The Dragon Beard Ditches of each tomb, large and small, zigzag and coil like dragons; streams under stone bridges are like white belts through the forest of pines and cypresses. In early morning or late afternoon one can see through green branches and leaves the beamed eaves, pavilions and garrets, stone sculptured human figures and stone animals appearing through the foliage to be draped in thin yellowish gauze kerchiefs.