Huo Qubing
Huo Qubing (140--117 B. C. ) was born into a humble family in Linfen City, Shanxi Province. His father was a messenger in a government office, and his mother, Wei Shaoer, was a slave girl. His aunt Wei Zifu became Emperor Wu Di's favourite concubine, and his uncle, Wei Qing was made a general by Wu Di. Thus, his mother had the privillege of being admitted to the imperial court. It was said that not long after the child's birth, Wei Shaoer took him in her arms to the court to see her sister. Passing the front gate of Wu Di's residence hall, the child accidentally let out a tremendous cry. Wu Di, who was confined to bed with a cold, was startled by the loud outburst, and broke into cold sweat. As a result, his ill-ness was miraculously cured without any treatment. Wu Di was very happy about his recovery, and immediately invited Shaoer into the hall and embraced the child and played with him for a while. When he learned that the child was not yet named, he offered the child the unusual name of "Qubing", which means "curing disease". Up until present day, joss sticks, candles and paper mon-ey have never ceased burning throughout the year in the temples at Huo Qubing's Tomb. Some people are doing so just with the hope that Huo Qubing would "avert disasters and cure their diseases. ' At the age of 18, he was appointed an imperial bodyguard. Be-cause of his bravery and unique fighting tactics, he was in charge of the emperor's personal safety. As an outstanding general, he led his men bravely, fighting out against the Hun invaders six times. Each time he won a victory. It opened the Hexi Corridor and guar-anteed greater security of the northwestern frontier and of the trad-ing pass on the Silk Road. Because of the many important contribu-tions he made, he was respected as a valiant general by Emperor Han Wu Di. In order to reward him, Wu Di ordered a magnificent house built in his honour. But Huo Qubing didn't accept the offer. He graciously refused, saying, "I won't make a home for myself until the Hun invaders are wiped out." He has been forever praised by all for his sacrifice for the nation. Unfortunately, this remark-able young general galloped across the fighting fields for only six years. When he reached the age of 24, he fell ill and died at Qilian Mountain. Wu Di was heart-broken by his death. He then gave or-ders that all the Hun immigrants of the five prefectures along the border dress themselves in black coats of mail, and escort Huo Qubing's coffin to his home in Chang'an, and bury him near Mao-ling. His tomb was constructed with earth and stone into the shape of a hill, which resembled the Qilian Mountain. At the time of con-struction, gigantic statues of stone men and animals were engraved and installed as ornaments at the tomb site. Up till now there are legends going around in the Qilian Moun-tain about this Han Dynasty general. At Wuquan Mountain (Five-Spring Mountain) in Lanzhou, it is said that once Huo Qubing and his men passed there, being thirsty and exhausted, Huo Qubing pulled out his sword and stabbed the ground. The result was that spring water came gushing out profusely from the ground. After that there remained the five springs, after which the mountain was named. At Jiuquan (Wine Spring) in the Qilian Mountain ranges, the legend goes, that after Huo defeated the Hun invaders and took control of the area, Wu Di bestowed good wine to his general. Huo didn't enjoy the victuals alone, but poured the wine into the spring, so that all his soldiers could enjoy the wine with him. Thus the name Jiuquan came into being.
Today, in front of Huo Qubing's Tomb there are large stone sculptures, statues of stone men, fierce animals, a feeding sheep, a bull, a man with a bear, a piglet, a galloping horse, a frog, a toad and a stone fish. The total number comes to 16 pieces, among which is the most famous carving The Hun Under Horse Hoofs. It is recorded in documents that this stone carving was originally in-stalled in front of the tomb. It was most probably the main statue of the tomb.
Huo Qubing's Tomb was designated as a state monument in 1961.