Guishan Han Dynasty Tomb – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Mysteries

guishan han dynasty tomb

Guishan Han Dynasty Tomb (龟山汉墓), also known as the Tomb of Liu Zhu, the sixth-generation King Xiang of Chu of the Western Han Dynasty, is a remarkable burial site that stands as a testament to ancient Chinese architectural precision. Located in the Gui Mountain, the tomb is a joint burial site for King Liu Zhu and his wife, featuring two parallel corridors, one for each, extending south and north respectively. These corridors, measuring 56 meters each, were meticulously carved into the mountain, with a remarkable precision of 1/10000, making them the world’s most finely chiseled passages to date.

The tomb complex spans an impressive 83 meters east to west and 33 meters at its widest point north to south, covering an area of over 700 square meters. It comprises 15 well-organized chambers, including bedrooms, living rooms, stables, and kitchens, resembling an underground palace. The southern part houses the tomb of King Liu Zhu, while the northern part is dedicated to his wife.

Guishan Han Tomb is shrouded in mysteries, earning it the moniker “Eastern Pyramid.” The most intriguing aspect is the extensions of the two corridors converge at Chang’an, the capital city back then, creating an enigma that continues to captivate researchers and visitors alike. This ancient marvel showcases the ingenuity of the Han Dynasty in tomb construction and stands as a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the time.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price80 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.30
Telephone Number0086-0516-85770107

Location and Transportation

The Guishan Han Dynasty Tomb stands as a primary attraction within the Guishan Scenic Area in Xuzhou, situated at the western foothills of the Guishan Mountain in the Gulou District of Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, near the Xuzhou Imperial Decree Museum. Precisely, it is located at No. 3 Xiangwang North Road.

To get there, tourists can take bus 37 and get off at Guishan Hanmu Stop (龟山汉墓站).


Mysteries Shrouding Guishan Han Dynasty Tomb

Mystery of Cliffside Excavation

The tomb’s construction involved the excavation of a vast underground complex, raising questions about how ancient craftsmen navigated the rocky terrain and understood the mountain’s stone composition and structure. The techniques employed to seamlessly carve out 2600 cubic meters within the mountain, leaving an intricate underground palace, remain a mystery.


Mystery of Celestial Alignments

Within Liu Zhu’s wife’s burial chamber, peculiar nipple-shaped stone clusters on the front hall and pillars form irregular patterns, defying conventional explanations. Some suggest they symbolize illuminating lamps, while others propose a connection to King Liu Zhu’s association with celestial stars. Despite these interpretations, the true significance of these formations remains elusive.


Mystery of Stone Blockage

The southern corridor is obstructed by 26 seal stones, arranged in two layers, each weighing 6-7 tons, with no visible gaps even for a coin to fit through. Experts determined that the stones originated from a distant southwest location, posing the question of how, in the technologically limited Han Dynasty, these massive seal stones were transported and precisely placed in the corridor. The origin of these stones adds another layer of mystery to the tomb’s construction.


Mystery of the Closed Door

Experts suggest that Liu Zhu’s wife was interred three to four years after King Liu Zhu, but both tombs were simultaneously completed. A sealed door separated the two tomb palaces, remaining unopened until after the queen’s interment when craftsmen finally “opened the door to find the husband.” Despite the seamless construction of the tomb complex, this unopened passage raises perplexing questions about its purpose. The irregularly planned passageway is the only one among the 15 chambers, with some speculating that it might have been a mistake rectified halfway through construction.


Mystery of the Cliffside Murals

Inside the burial chamber of King Liu Zhu, a life-sized figure known as “King Liu Zhu Welcoming Guests” is displayed on the north wall. This image gradually formed after the tomb’s official opening, with some attributing it to long-term water seepage. However, no water damage surrounds the silhouette, intensifying the mystery. The figure, adorned in Han Dynasty attire and posing in a welcoming gesture, challenges conventional explanations, leaving researchers with unanswered questions about its origin and purpose.


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