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Qian Mausoleum

This is one of the most impressive tombs situated 85 km north-west 0f XI’AN. This is the joint resting-place of Tang Emperor GAO ZONG( 628-683 A.D)and his wife Empress WU Ze Tan(624-705A.D)

The Empress Wu was condemned as a vicious woman and ruthless ruler. It is likely that this view had its origins in the poisoned brushes of the court historians who were supporters of rival factions, and upholders of traditional standards which denied women a role in public life, and expected them to remain subservient to the men. It is not possible to say how much of traditional story of her rise to power is based on fact. But even if only a small portion were true, then the empress showed her to be possessed of infinite political skill as well as of an iron nerve and a level of head.

She encourages agriculture and silk production, reducing taxes and forced labor demands from those engaged in this work. She announced a foreign policy of peace, and disbanded a large number of troops.

The Tang GAO ZONG died in 683, and power remained in the hands of Wu, who was then fifty-five years old. Her son remained the puppet emperor until he was deposed in 690, then Wu assumed the imperial title herself. The only Chinese woman to be sovereign in name as well as in fact. During her administration was well ordered and the Middle Kingdom was tranquil. One of the measures that provoked bureaucratic resentment was the establishment of examinations for women, to select some for posts n state service. Wu survived all effort against her until 705.

She remains the one of the most controversial figure in the Chinese history.

The grounds the imperial tome boast a number of large stone sculptures of animals and officers of the imperial guard. The two steles on the ground each stand more than 6 meters high. The Wuzi Bei( Wordless Stele) is a blank table: one story goes that it represent Empress Wu’s absolute power , which she considered inexpressible.



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