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Useful Information | Shenyang Imperial Palace | Zhaoling Tomb/North Tomb | Fuling Tomb/East Tomb | Strange Slope | Four Towers in Early Qing Dynasty | Zhongshan Square |

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Shenyang Imperial Palace

Shenyang Imperial Palace is the most ancient imperial architectural complex of Qing Dynasty in China next only to the Forbidden City in Beijing in historical and art value. Shenyang Imperial Palace, also called Shengjing Imperial Palace, was first built in 1625 by Nurhachi (1559-1626), the first king of Hun of Jin State (built in 1616), and excessively extended by Huangtaiji (1592-1643), the son and successor of Nurhachi before they entered the hintland China and established the Qing Dynasty.

It was renamed Co-capital Palace and Emperor Eastward Inspection Palace after the foundation of the Qing Dynasty. With large-scale reparation time after time, the imperial palace now serves as a tourist attraction called Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum. The Imperial Palace in Beijing and Shenyang are the only two most well-preserved imperial architectural complex existing in China today.

Streets in Shenyang Old City are layed out in the shape of . The Palace, in the center of the -shaped streets, occupies an area of 6 hectares with 114 ancient buildings.

According to the layout and building time, Shenyang Imperial Palace can be divided into three parts: east, middle and west parts:

East part: The buildings around were built in the period of Nurhachi including Great Administrative Hall and Ten Kings Pavilion;

Middle part: Buildings here were continued and completed in the period of Huangtaiji including Grand Qing Gate, Chong Zheng Hall, Phoenix Tower, Qingning Palace, Guanmiao Palace, Yanqing Palace, Qifu Palace etc;

West part: The buildings there were expanded and renovated by Emperor Qian Long (1736-1795) including Wen Su Pavilion. The whole palace, standing in great numbers, is lofty, magnificent and richly ornamented.

The palace is not only famous for its ancient imperial architecture, but also enjoy great fame internationally for its abundant collections. The palace exhibits a large number of the remaining imperial relics, such as the sword once used by Nurhachi.

Zhaoling Tomb/North Tomb

Zhaoling Tomb, the tomb of Hongtaiji and his wife, Xiaoduanwen Queen, is a Key Cultural Relic Unit under State Protection.

Zhaoling Tomb, also called North Tomb due to its location in the north of Shenyang, enjoys equal fame with Fu Tomb and Yong Tomb. All these tombs are jointly called three imperial tombs outside Shanhaiguan. However, Zhaoling Tomb is much beyond the other two in terms of scale and layout.

Zhaoling Tomb is the largest park in Shenyang City, covering an area of 330 hectares. In the eighth year of Chongde in Qing Dynasty, the tomb of Huangtaiji and his wife Bo'erjijite was completed. In 1927, Zhaoling Tomb was authorized to be a park by Fengtian government, and got the name of North Tomb. As one of tourist attractions and historic sites in Shenyang, Zhaoling Tomb is the essence of China's ancient architectures, and also the representative of cultural communication between Manchus and Han nationalities. There are decorated archways, ornamental columns, cloud pillars and some stones animals, such as standing elephant, standing horse, sleeping camel, kylin, sitting lion and Xiezhi (the mythical Chinese beast) on both sides of the road, face to face with each other. Square City is the main part of the park, and the layout is similar to that of Fu Tomb. Under the Bao City is the underground palace, the coffin chamber of Huangtaiji and his queen.

Zhaoling Tomb is spacious and bright with splendour pavilions and palaces. The yellow tiles, red walls and green trees set each other off. After liberation, North Tomb has been greatly restored and expanded so it combines traditional ancient architecture with modern park features. When stay in the park, recalling the past you will have all sorts of feelings welled up in the mind. It is a place one must visit when go to Shenyang..

Fuling Tomb/East Tomb

It is also called East Tomb due to its location on 11 kilometers above Mt. Tianzhu in the northeast of Shenyang. It is jointly called three imperial tombs outside Shanhaiguan with Zhao Tomb in Shenyang and Yong Tomb in Xinbin.

Fuling Tomb was firstly built in the third year of Tianchong period, in 1629, with a history of more than 370 years. Initially, it was called Taizu Tomb and Former Han Tomb and was renamed as Fuling Tomb in the first year of Chongde, in 1636 when the Qing Dynasty was established. The name indicates the wish that Qing Dynasty would be permanent. In the eighth year of Emperor Shun Zhi's reign (1651), the second emperor of Qing Dynasty, Mt. Ling where the Fuling Tomb is located is conferred the title of Tianzhu, which was once called Mt. Stone Mouth (another saying is Mt. Dongmou of the kingdom of Bohai Sea), the branch of Mt. Changbai. This name implies that Fuling Tomb, like a great pillar erecting to the sky, sustains Qing Dynasty.

There are altogether 30 memorial ceremonies every year, large or small. The large memorial ceremony was held on Qingming Festival (the 5th of the 24 solar terms), the Festival of the Dead Spirits (15th day of the seventh lunar month), the Winter Solstice (the 22nd of the 24 solar terms), and in the end of the year, while the small held on the first and fifth day of each lunar month. In addition, the large memorial ceremony would be held on the death day of the emperor or the queen. National ceremony was held there and the officials taking a post or passing by would also give a ceremony there. Kang Xi, Qian Long, Yong Zheng and Jia Qing successively make eastward inspection tours ten times, and held ceremonies in Fuling Tomb. After the downfall of the Qing Dynasty, Pu Yi (the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty) held ceremonies at times during the period of his own small dynasty (he renounced his throne, but continued to live in the Forbidden City, and was treated with enormous respect.) During the period of Puppet Manchuria, he himself once went there to hold the memorial ceremony.

The buildings of Fuling Tomb is grand and majestic with the air of patina and solemnity, of which pine forest in Mt. Tianzhu is one of the eight most famous attractions of Shengjing, and clouds in Mt. Tianzhu, one of sixteen attractions of co-capital. Other sights like Fishing in Longtan, Waterfall Hanging on Supernal Bridge, Bright Building after Rain and Sunshine on the Snow-covered Western Hill all enjoy great reputation. Though Fuling Tomb is smaller than Zhao Tom in scale, it is unique due to its two features mentioned above and beautiful surroundings. Therefore, people still have a keen interest to visit Fuling Tomb after go sight-seeing on Zhao Tomb. Now the area around Fuling Tomb has been approved to be Dongling Sanitaria.

Strange Slope

The supernatural Strange Slope is over 80 meters long and about 15 meters wide, with its west part higher than the east part. The strange phenomenon is that cars stopping on the foot will automatically slide upward the top. It is more wonderful to ride a bike because bikes easily roll upward toward the top but you must pay more efforts to go down the hill.

It attracts numerous tourists in and outside the country after it is explored. Centering on the Strange Slope, there gradually forms a scenic area including 20 attractions such as the natural landscapes of the Sound Mountain, Wengding, Five Mountains (the mountains of Yunmao, Wolong, Guibei, Changkong and Dagu), Three Lakes and One Spring etc. There are altogether 10 cultural scenic spots including ancient Bao'en Temple, and modern adventurous Concentric Rope Bridge and Entertainment Shooting Range.

During the last ten-day of May every year there will hold a large-scale gathering, Chinese Scholar Tree Flowers Festival.

Four Towers in Early Qing Dynasty

There are 2 Buddha and 8 Bodhisattva in the temple. Tiandi Buddha, commonly known as Huanxi Buddha, is a statue of a connected figure that a man and a woman is hugging, which symbolizes the co-existence of heaven and the earthly world. In the Tianwan Palace, Maitreya Buddha, the Four Gods (in Chinese they are called Tianwang), Weituo are enshrined there. The pagoda ,with a height about 21 meters, is at the northeast corner of the temple, which is composed of 3 parts: the pedestal, tower body, phase rotation. The pedestal is a waist-contracted square Xumi throne on which designs of passion flowers were carved. On the two sides of the pedestal and the kettle-model door, stone pillars stand, which are also carved with design of Yangfu lotus and Baolian lotus. On each side of the pedestal, 3 kettle-model doors are formed between 2 stone pillars. The middle one, which is embedded with treasure basin and flame pearl, is a bit convex, while the other two are slightly concave. On the pedestal, there is a 3-layer round altar throne, on which 13 stories brick-made temple body stands, with each storey tightens in. On the top of the temple are precious summit and flagpole.

The east, south, and north tower were renovated in the 1980s. The west tower was dismantled in 1968 because it was too dilapidated. The palace underground was discovered when people dismantled the west tower, they unearthed lots of historical relics. In 1998, West tower and Yanshou temple were rebuilt. West tower is 26.33 meters high, and its pedestal occupies an area of 256 square meters. Yanshou temple occupies a total area of 4000 square meters, in which Shanmen hall, Tianwan (heavenly kings) hall, Main Buddha hall, and the west and east attached halls takes over 800 square meters. The richly ornamented buildings in the hall make it look unsophisticated but splendid.

Besides the above mentioned, since 1985, the Historical Relics Preservation Office of Shenyang City has built a monument forest in the Beilun Temple, so far they have collected over 100 stone monuments, of which the oldest one is that of the Chenghua period in Ming dynasty, the latest one is that of the Manchukuo period. After renovation, most of these monuments erect in the monastery now, they are silently narrating the turns and swifts of history.

Zhongshan Square

The Square is first built in 1913, it was called as Central Square at that time. In 1919, its name had been changed into Langsu Square. During the ruling period of Kuomintang, the name of the square had been changed into Zhongshan Square, which was still used after the liberation of Shenyang. In Cultural Revolution period, it was called Hongqi Square. Since 1981 the name Zhongshan Square has been reused.

In 1956, Zhongshan Square was reconstructed. In the center of the square a fountain was built to add magnificence to it. The present majestic landscape of the square was established in the large-scale reconstruction in 1969. The reconstruction project of the Hongqi Square (it was called that time) started on 7th, May, 1969, with the first phase project finished on 28th, September. The second phase project started on 13th, May, 1970, which finished on 1st, October, 1970. A huge glass-made statue of Mao Zhedong was erected in the center of the reconstructed square. With one hand pointing front, a foot stepping forward, the grand, energetic and amiable giant rock-firmly stands there.


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