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Xian Qianling Mausoleum

80 kilometers northwest of Xi’an lies the sprawling tomb of Emperor Gaozong and his empress Wuzetian, perched majestically atop the peak of Liangshan. As one of the best preserved tombs in China and the only mausoleum to escape the detection of ancient tomb raiders, the Qialing Mausoleum now offers its ageless splendor to the world. The southern entrance to the mausoleum is set between two small hills, and the sacred path to the Emperor’s tomb is lined with a diverse array of stone sculptures resembling a wide range of creatures, ranging from winged horses to rose finches. Although worn down and scarred by the elements, these sculptures continue to hold their ground, and having stood the test of time for well over a millennia, these stone sentinels will likely continue to live on, guarding the memory of one of the most storied lineages in Chinese history.

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