Xiaoling is located at Dulongfu on the south slope of the Purple Hills in the east suburbs of Nanjing. In the place is a thick growth of age-old pine trees and cypresses, with a stream winding in the hills. Some famous ancient Buddhist temples and tombs are found here.
Xiaoling is the mausoleum of the first Ming Dynasty emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. It is one of the largest imperial mausoleums existing in China, as a historical monument put under state protection. From the "Officials and Others Dismount Here" Tablet in the front to the Square Walls at the back, it is 2.62 kilometers. Records note the red wall of the mausoleum at 22.5 kilometers in circumference. The perimeter of the red wall is two-thirds that of the dh] wall at that time. Although no wooden structures were found existent over the last six hundred years, one still has some idea of the mausoleum built on a large scale. Xiaoling has its layout and architecture the same as those of the Ming Tombs on the outskirts of Beijing, but on a much greater scale than the latter. This speaks of the fact that all Ming Dynasty imperial tombs were modeled after the former.