the most renowned projects of the world. Construction of the wall
began around the 7th-4th century BC during the Spring and Autumn
Period. At that time, feudal states built walls for self-defense
against nomadic tribes. In 211 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor
of the Qin dynasty, after unifying China, had the walls linked
up, reinforced and extended. Renovations were carried out with
local geographic conditions during the succeeding dynasties, creating
many enchanting sights. The total length of the Great Wall is
6,700 km, traversing 8 provinces, municipalities and autonomous
regions. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only
by its architectural value.
In December 1987, the Great Wall was listed by UNESCO in its World Heritage.
Beijing - Badaling Great Wall
Badaling Great Wall, with more than 1000 meters
above sea level, occupies a commanding and strategic position.
It is a defensive outpost of the Great Wall. It is called "Bada"
as it stretches in all directions.
Badaling Great wall was built in the 18th year
of the Ming Hong Zhi reign (1505). The wall, built with high stone
slabs on the outside, is 7.8 meters high on the average, some
even reaches 8.4meters. The base of the wall was built with more
than 2000 large rectangular slab of granite stones. It is about
6.5 meters wide on the average at its base and 5.7 meters wide
on the average on the ramparts. The wall is wide enough for five
horses to gallop abreast and ten people to advance shoulder to
shoulder. The outside of the wall is called rampart wall. The
rampart wall was built with bricks 1.7 meters high. Built for
the purpose of defense, there are holes on the tip of the wall
called watch-hole, and peepholes under the wall called embrasures.
Inside of the wall, there are low walls with one meter high called parapets, which can be used as railings. There is
a scroll door not far from the inside wall, with is a stone ladder
for climbing up and down.
The wall is narrow on the top and broad on
the bottom forming an adder-shape structure. This made the wall
stands firmly on the rise and fall ridges. The wall was built
with 10-14 rectangular slab of stones surrounding its outside,
filled with soils and stones in the middle, and paved with square
bricks on the top between the bricks were stuck with lime stones.
This makes the wall tidy, beautiful, and firm. There are gutters
with gargoyles to drain rain-water off the parapet wall.
The landscape of Badaling Great Wall changes
every season, with numerous scenery to catch your attention. A
sunlit and enchanting scene of spring, with the valley covered
with greens. When the rain from mountain comes, the vista will
look vast and hazy. The sky in autumn is high with unsoiled stratosphere,
while the maple forest is dyed in golden colour. White snow covers
the whole scene in winter.
Gansu - Jiayuguan Pass
Located 4 kilometers west of Jiayuguan city on the northwest part
of Gansu Province, Jiayuguan is the western end of the Great Wall
of the Ming Dynasty as well as the most magnificent and best-preserved
pass among the over thousand passes along the Ming Great Wall,
known as "Impregnable Pass Under Heaven" . It took 168
years (1372 - 539) to build this strategic outpost.
Jiayuguan Pass, located at the narrowest ravine
of Hexi Corridor is made up of an inner city, wengcheng (barbican
entrance to the city), luocheng (outer round defensive wall),
outer city and moat. It's a multi-tier defensive works. Its western
outer wall extends southward to the bank of Taolai River at the
foot of Qilian Mountain, and its northern end links with a hidden
wall going halfway up the Heishan Mountain. Jiayuguan Pass is
entrenched right in the ravine sandwiched in between two high
mountains. So it's reputed as Impregnable Pass Under Heaven where
one defender can ward off the attack by ten thousand foes.
The inner city, standing right at the center of the Pass, is surrounded
by 6 meter-high hardened loess as the base plus 3 meter-high brick
wall on the top. 1.7 meter-high brick buttress aligned with crenels
and lookout holes are built on top of the wall.
Between crenels of the western wall there are
notches for lamps. Beneath the notches, are slanting openings
for shooting. The city has four corner towers, and a gate tower
in the middle of each of the two north to south walls. The eastern
and western gates are protected by wengcheng (barbican entrance),
which connects with the inner city in a zigzag way. Once the enemy
enters the wengcheng, he will find himself like a turtle in a
jar waiting to be caught.