prime target of the dumb

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Chinese history has seen families rise and dynasties fall, it has seen aristocrats and barbarians wrestle for power, and it has seen many different Emperors from all over the country seeking to rule the land. But only one woman has ever made it to the Imperial throne: that woman was Wu Zetian ๆญฆๅˆ™ๅคฉ from the Tang-dynasty, and her grave is just behind this little village:

village road

Well, it’s not only her own grave, but also that of her sweetheart, the former Emperor Tang Gaozong ๅ”้ซ˜ๅฎ—. And let me tell you this burial mound of theirs is so massive I found it simply impossible to believe that it was man-made, that there wasn’t just a small mountain here in the first place:

burial mound

It took me a while to climb up there, and I found it by far larger than the other grave mounds I had seen before (old friends better than merry warriors, walk).

The whole area is scattered with beautiful historical relics:

horse statue

Then somewhere near the top, there is Wu Zetian’s Imperial stele:

Wu Zetian's stele

No words – and nobody really seems to know why there are none. I was going to give you a brief introduction about the historical person Wu Zetian at first, but then I checked on some of the sources and found them somewhat unclear and confusing to me; it almost seems as though the empty spaces on the stele have been inviting people to fill them up with their own conceptions ever since.

So I guess historians will always argue whether Wu Zetian was an aristocrat or just a countryside girl; some might call her power-hungry and ruthless while others might praise her political visions and ideas – but hey, you can just look it up and get your own opinion, I’m not going to do that for you.

Or else we would be back to “ignorance prevailing over everything” again:


Looks pitiful, doesn’t it? I found this on the way to the top – miserable master and miserable beast, united in decapitation.

People here blame this on the so-called “Cultural Revolution” during the 1960s and 70s:


Well, the head is always going to remain the prime target of the dumb.

What a disgrace:


The rest of the day I stumbled through my first encounter with water falling in drops:


Rain. Not heavy rain though, but I received many a black shower from the trucks going by.

Once I stopped and wondered about this:


But I couldn’t figure it out. Too dumb.

When I made it to my destination, it wasn’t quite as metropolitan as the one the night before:


But hey: a bed is a bed, and I needed a bed.

In my head, I was still thinking about the decapitation thing.

And I needed a shower!

  • Birgit

    Hi Christoph the "thingis" in the trees might be weights to open up the brances – that is what you do with fruit bearing trees anyway…
    but apart from that :your walk looked really very sureal today ..
    brgds from Stuttgart airport


  • Wolfgang Robens

    Hi Christoph.
    Die besten Grüße aus Langenhagen sendet Dir ein eifriger Leser von Deiner Reise in China.Wünsche Dir ein schönes Osterfest und weiterhin gute Füße +gute Schuhe.


  • Christoph

    Birgit: Yes, I think you are right about the weights, I think I've heard that before.
    Wolfgang Robens: Frohe Ostern auch nach Langenhagen!


  • Rindy

    ็š‡ๅธๆ˜ฏ่ƒŒ้ ๅฑฑ,่„šๆฃๆฒณ!


  • Christoph

    ไฝ ไป€ไนˆๅœฐๆ–น้ƒฝๅŽป่ฟ‡ๆ˜ฏไธๆ˜ฏ๏ผŸ


  • nameless

    One day you may find the heads in the British Museum. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Vasco Carto

    As an Archaeologist by heart and formation one could only wish to be able to dig and preserve at the same time such a place… Like the Amphipolis Tomb in Greece.

    Stay safe!


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