Historically, Badaling Great Wall is one of the nine forts on earth, and also the quintessential section of the Great Wall. It is the representative of the Great Wall established in the Ming Dynasty. Badaling Great Wall is the earliest section opened to tourists. Badaling Scenic Area is mainly characterized by the Badaling Great Wall with multi-functional modernized facilities for tourism service such as Badaling Hotel, Quanzhou Cinema and China Great Wall Museum inscribed directly by Jiang Zemin, the former president of China. Badaling Great Wall is the best preserved section of the Great Wall with the all-sided service facilities.
The Badaling section of Great Wall is located in Yanqing County of Beijing. Badaling Great Wall was established in 1505 and restored in later times. Badaling Great Wall is world famous for its magnificent scenery, perfect facilities and profound culture and history. Badaling Great Wall has a good geographic environment. Anciently it was the importance way to Shanxi Province and Inner Mongolia. In 1998, Badaling Expressway was established to open. Furthermore, the annual average temperature of Badaling area is three Celsius degrees lower than downtown Beijing, so it is also the hot tourist destination of Yanqing in summer. The ticket price for Badaling section of The Great Wall is about 45 Yuan. Getting off the bus at the square in front of the ticket office, people can find the whole architectures and the additional buildings of the Badaling Great Wall mostly are made by the gray-color bricks.
The available length of Badaling Great Wall for tour is 3,741 meters (the south part is 1,176 meter and the north part is 2,565 meter). In 1953, it was restored and opened to be the tourist destination. There are 16 forts in total. In 1961, Badaling section of the Great Wall was listed to be the first batch of cultural relics under the national-class protection. In 1982, it was ranked to be the national key scenic spot. In 1986, it was officially commented to be the top of national top-ten scenic spots. In 1987, it was ranked into the List of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. From 1995 to 2000, there were more than 300 country leaders all over the world visited Badaling Great Wall.
Traditionally, Badaling Great Wall is the important military strategic base. In the time of Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period, the Great Wall was built for fighting against the northern ethnic groups' southward invasion. Today Badaling Great Wall is still having the remnants of walls and forts. Badaling Mountain is a mountain pass of the strategically important and high peaks dotted Jundoushan Mountain (军都山). Badaling, means the mountain by which you can go to everywhere in Chinese, is also the highest in the area. In the Ming Dynasty, it took over eighty years to build the Badaling section to intensify the defensive shield of northern China. The Ming army also appointed General Qi Jiguang (戚继光), who had successful led his army division to repel the invading Japanese, to command and handle the defense affairs in the Great Wall.
Historically, Badaling Great Wall has been the protecting gate of Juyongguan Pass (居庸关). A 20-kilometer long gap, called "Pass' Gap" is located between Badaling and the southern gate, and Juyongguan Pass is here. At the highest point of Badaling, there are two tall peaks, with which a narrow gap is being seen. If looking down from here, the dangerous topography is truly overwhelming. So, Juyongguan Pass is only a fort, though majestic, the real Great Wall is Badaling.
Badaling Great Wall has witnessed many China's historical events. The First Monarch Qinhihuang arrived Jie Shi Mountain (碣石), passed Badaling and went to Datong, later to Xianyang near Xian in Shaanxi. Genghis Khan and Yuan Dynasty's emperors had to return twice a year to their homeland in Xandu of Mongolia from Beijing that they must via Badaling Great Wall, where was also the venue for northward expedition and conquering of Ming's emperors. The tears of crying of Dowager Cixi when she was fleeing westward, the laying ceremony of the first Chinese built railway line and the great founding father of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen's visit have left many and many historical anecdotes and old memories.
Originally Badaling Mountain was just a mountain pass but later a Great Wall section and military fortifications had been built here. Defensive barriers had been constructed between the years of 1569 and 1582 in various places at Badaling. Later, fortresses and stone walls were built, thus the Badaling section of Great Wall was formed. It now has a length of 12 kilometers.
Turnoff Castle 岔道城
Located near Badaling Train Station, there stands a grand and majestic castle. This is "The Key of the Northern Gate" of outpost command office. In old times, there were three senior guards with 800 troops staying here.
Ancient Cannons 古炮
The five advanced cannons from the Ming Dynasty are displayed at the entrance of Badaling Great Wall. The biggest and most powerful one is length 2.85 meters and its caliber is 105 millimeters. The shooting range can reach one kilometer. In 1958, it was moved to here from a few kilometers away. The other four smaller cannons had been excavated during a Great Wall renovation project in 1957. At that time, there were a few hundreds shells found too. They are all from the Ming Dynasty period.
Barrier Fortress 关城
A temple is built outside of the Eastern Gate of the Barrier Fortress – Temple of Seeing Beijing (望京寺), where had a grand stone Buddhist statue stood inside. In the year 1505, due to the renovation of the Barrier Fortress, the temple and its entire construction were removed. The Barrier Fortress has east and west gates. The western wall's foundation is built with ten-odd layers of granite. The wall body is made of cement bricks. The wall castle is on the top. It is length 19.8 meters, width 14.15 meters. There are two towers for watching out enemies on the both sides of the castle with about 60 meters distance from each other. The north and south city walls are set perpendicular to the western wall, to which they are all built on the slope, the west is higher in altitude to the east and like U-shape. The eastern gate is 63.9 meters away from the west one, which the inscription "The Key of the Northern Gate" is still well preserved.
The City Wall 城墙
The City Wall in the Badaling section of Great Wall is height between 6 and 9 meters. Its intersection looks like a trapezium that the bottom is wider than the top side. The top can accommodate five horses or ten men to roam or walk in a column. The portion in Qinglong Bridge is steep and dangerous. The narrowest part is just over two meters of width.
Whatever in the plane area on steep slope, the city wall is built by laying granite bricks in alternative side positioning, with adding ash slurry to make them sticking with one another. The battlement faces the enemy side. It is height 1.7 to 2 meters, which can properly protect the human body when fighting. Embrasures are set one meter distance from one another and located about the height of chest of an average adult. Some of the watching holes and shooting holes are carved with beautiful patterns on their rims.
There are two small water troughs on both lower sides of the city wall. The rain water will be flowed to drainage pipe, which will lead the water to the outlet located outside the wall. The drainage outlet is actually a stone made water trough with a length of one meter. It stretches from the Great Wall to outside area.
There is a city entrance gateway set up in every certain distant interval of the city wall. The gate is arch-shaped on its top. It is 1.8 meters height and 0.8 meter width. The frame of the gateway is built by four big stone pieces of same size and mass. Stairs are installed in every gateway that it can go to the top of the wall. In streams and sand rivers which the city wall passes over them, there are water gates of different sizes set up.
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