Great Wall at Jinshanling Section - Beijing Destination Guide
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Great Wall at Jinshanling Section

Jinshanling Great Wall is just like an outstanding artistic work standing among the mountains. It is the distillate of the Chinese Great Wall. It was built on the bigger and smaller Jinshan Mountains which are the boundilry between Luanping and Miyun county. it begins from Wangjinglou Tower in the east and ends in Longyukou Pass in the West, with the total length of 10.2 kiloineters.

This section of the Great Wall perfectly embodies the majesty, spectacular and profoundness. On this section of 10.5 kilometers' Great Wall, there are 67 watchtowers of various construction styles's passes, 2 beacon towers, many barrier walls, calligraphy bricks and sculpted kylin bricks. Climbers are always deeply impressed by the majesty, ruggedness, miraculousness and great beauty of this section.

This section was built by the famous general Qi Jiguang with the soldiers from Zhejiang Province. Jinshanling region is such an iportant strategic passage between the northem and southern area that all the military forces in history tried to control it. As early as Beiqi reign, some military passes were ever constructed here. After the middle of Ming Dynasty, the Dada and Duoyan tribes grew to a vital threat to the Ming reign. In the second year of Longqing ( 1568, ) in order to strengthen the defensive power, the emperor Mingmu summoned the famous general Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang who were fighting the pirates in southern China and arranged them to be in charge of the military defense work in Ji and Liao regions. After he took his post as a general of Jizhen, Qi Jiguang reconstructed and repaired the Great Wall in his precinct. And Jinshanling Great Wall was the most excellent section among the more than 600 kilometers' long Great Wall built during his 16 years' administration.

Jinshanling Great Wall was built in a comparatively later time and the designers absorbed the former experience so that it became an example in military defensive system, construction style, and architectural art.

The base of the Great Wall was made up of stone slabs and the body was constructed with the black bricks with the sand and stones filled inside. The top of the wall is about 5 meters wide, which can hold six or seven people walking side by side. There is a horse road paved with big square bricks. A drainage gouge was built every 2 or 3 meters along the wall to drain the rainwater from the protruding waterspout which successfully prevented the rain water from eroding the wall body. The soldiers could also shoot their stone hitters to the enemy from the waterspout. Along the inner side of the horse road a wall of 1.5 meters high called Yuqiang or Nv'er qiang was built, and along the outside a wall of two meters high with interval crenels could provide the soldiers with both the protection and attacking places.

There are also special openings between the crenels to insert flags for display or signal transmission. On each side of the wall, there are many shooting holes designed in the upper, middle and lower levels, used by the soldiers to shoot arrows in different poses. The height of the Great Wall here varies from 5 to 8 meters and there is a pass at every gorge or strategic place. The passes are the entrances of the place. Constructed with bricks, they are usually 2.5 meters high and 1.5 meters wide. Most of the passes are built in some secluded places. Stone or brick stairs are leading to the top of the wall from the two sides of the pass.

Great Wall at Jinshanling SectionIn peaceful time, the soldiers could walk in and out freely from the pass, and in wartime the soldiers could defend themselves effectively with the help of the pass. There is a Chinese saying to describe the strategic importance of the pass : a warrior standing in the pass, ten thousand could not pass it. The main passes in Jinshanling Great Wall are: Longyukou Pass, Taochunkou Pass, Zhuanduokou Pass, Shalingkou Pass and Houchuankou Pass. A feature of the Great Wall in this region is embodied by the 67 watchtowers built along the 10.6-kilometer-long Great Wall. It is quite peculiar and rare in history that so many towers were built so densely Watch-towers are usually constructed on the higher places. Built of stone and bricks, they are more than 10 meters high, with the soil, stones and lime filled inside.

The wall around was built with bricks and the tower consists of two floors. The base floor was used as a store room of food and weapons. It could also be used as a dwelling and watching place. The base floor and the second floor are connected through two kinds of passages : stairs or silos.

The inside structure can be classified into single chamber and double chambers. The roofs of the base floors were constructed in a great variety of forms : some double slopes, some cubic, some compressed, some convoluted, and some vaulted. Most of the walls around the base floor have 2 to 5 arrow holes. Some of the towers have one or three gates, but most of them have two.

Every tower is endowed with a special image by its wonderful name, such as the Wangjinglou Tower, the Taochunlou Tower, Xiannulou Tower, Jiangjunlou Tower, Heilou Tower, Kufanglou Tower, and Hudinglou Tower, etc. Some barrier walls were built on the two sides of the watch-towers.

They were the lower walls built on the top of the main wall. Generally, they are 2 meters high and 1.5 meters wide on which the peeping holes and arrow-holes were designed. Around every watch-tower there were more than ten barrier walls which blocked about half of the crenels on the two Sides of the Great Wall. Once the attackers climbed up the wall, the defensive soldiers could defend themselves behind the bamer walls.

They could also, under the protection of the barner walls, retreat to the higher positions or the watch-towers, waiting for a chance to attack the enemies.

As a vital military defensive project of the ancient time, Jinshanling Great Wall has become a well-known sightseeing site. More than 160 movies, TV plays, MTV and commercial advertisements were made in this place. The Asian Flying Person Ke Shouliang has ever flied across the Jingshanling Great Wall, and Yu Shunye has made a retrofly here.





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Beijing Jinshanling Great Wall Tours

Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Private Day Tour  --- from US$67
The ruinous state of this part of the Wall gives it an air of authenticity that has earned it the reputation of being the most beautiful section of the Great Wall.

Jinshanling Great Wall Tour (No shopping)  --- from US$87
With its fantastic scenery & precipitous topography, Jinshanling Great Wall is remarkable place for sightseeing, hiking and exploration. The hike takes about 4.5 hours. Our tour guide will escort you from beginning to the end. Departure: daily.

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