In the front part of imperial necropolises there is usually a Sacred Way which means the way to heaven. The emperor, as the son of heaven, who came from heaven to his country through the Sacred Way is rightly well known in the sky, on the road. Affiliated with the Ming Tombs, the Sacred Road was originally built to lead to the Changling museum. During their reign they often passed through the sacred road to the sacrificial altar in order to converse with heaven. After their death, the funeral procession also took the path through the Sacred Road as a symbol of the passed emperor’s journey to heaven in the afterlife.
Along the path, visitors can find a stele pavilion. At the four corners of the pavilion, there are four tall marble columns each towering about ten meters into the air. Each column is engraved with dragons and has a mythical beast sitting on the top. As the story goes, the beasts facing south remind the emperor to go out of the palace and among the people to observe their situation and needs. The beasts facing north summon the emperor from an insignificant outing to return to handle state affairs.
The Sacred Way is often made of stone statues, which are important decorations of the mausoleum are aligned. These statues are usually 12 human figures and 24 animals, lions, camels, elephants, xiezhi, Qilin, and the horse, there are 4 of each of these animals. two standing and two squatting with different meanings symbolizes great Lion of solemnity because of their camels and elephants ferocity in the fight against the size of the territory, struck by the court because they have reliable transportation in the desert and tropics. Xiezhi was there to prevent evil spirits was because he believed, to have that sixth sense, good and evil. When fighting two men, one xiezhi the bad blood would be. Qilin, a promising sign, placed on both sides. Horse, as the mountain of the Emperor, is absolutely essential. It is said that these animals actually change to guard midnight.