Travel, Teach, Live in China

Famous Mausoleums
By:Ryan Cockerham

From the beginning of recorded history, human civilization has attempted to solve complicated questions related to death and dying. Creative thinkers across a variety of disciplines have expressed their own thoughts and beliefs through their chosen profession or artistic medium. Architects and builders have constructed elaborate mausoleums to serve as memorials and houses of rest for significant historical figures. A number of these mausoleums have become global places of interest and destinations for tourists as well as historians.

Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, First Qin Emperor
Many people will instantly recognize images of the famous Terracotta Army standing guard over Qin Shihuang's tomb. Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army to protect his tomb from invaders in both the natural and supernatural world. Plans for building the mausoleum began soon after Shihuang assumed the role of emperor, and labor continued on the mausoleum for 37 years. Although it is estimated that 7,000 soldiers were constructed, roughly 2,000 have been unearthed.

Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
Although his body has not been found, Genghis Khan's memory is memorialized at the ceremonial mausoleum in Inner Mongolia. Prior to his death, Genghis Khan requested an anonymous burial. Although it is known that his coffin was carried to central Mongolia, a record of the exact location has not been discovered. The mausoleum was constructed between the years 1954 and 1956. The original mausoleum, along with a number of priceless artifacts, were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Although the mausoleum was later rebuilt, many of the original treasures and ornaments no longer exist.


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