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Tomb of Zhanghuai Xian

  • The Crown Prince Zhanghuai’s Tomb is among the 3 main tombs within the Qianling Mausoleum compound which tourists can visit. It is roughly 80 kilometres away from Xian. The other 2 tombs are the Tomb of Princess Yongtai and the Tomb of Crown Prince Yide. Prince Zhanghuai was the sixth son of Emperor Gaozong.
  • Emperor Gaozong was the 3rd emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Gaozong was not a strong emperor who was ultimately reduced like a figurehead emperor whereas his wife, Empress Wu governed by terror and by recruiting her capable supporters. Prince Zhanghuai lived with the doubt that she was not his real mother. Ultimately, as she strengthened power, she executed him.
  • Prince Zhanghuai was placed in his own tomb close to his father’s tomb. The tomb is embellished with colored murals displaying the life of nobles of the time.

Life of Zhanghuai

  • It is said that Zhanghuai was the 2nd son of Empress Wu, but people doubted. Zhanghuai was born in 653. There were frequent murders in his large family. There were emperor’s sons by other women. Liu Hong was an older son who was murdered in 675. Historians doubt that Empress Wu killed him by poisoning but they aren’t certain. Zhanghuai was made Crown Prince. This meant that after the death of the emperor died, he was to become the next emperor. In 680, the emperor removed him on doubt of treachery. It’s said that following his father’s death in 684 and burial in Qianling Mausoleum, Empress Wu died in 705, and she was buried with the emperor in the Qianling Mausoleum in 706. In 705, the body of Zhanghuai was placed in his tomb close to Empress Wu and Qianling Mausoleum of his father.

Tomb Description and Contents

  • Tomb of Zhanghuai was constructed approximately 3 kilometres from Qianling Mausoleum. The tomb is roughly 7 meters deep, 3.3 meters wide and 70 mete   rs long. Coloured murals are on the tomb’s walls. One shows 3 Tang officials with a few foreigners. Other murals show a polo match, ministers, female courtiers, games, dancing and parades. There are many other murals which assist people see something regarding the life of those times.