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The Beijing Badaling Great Wall
by Jacklyn Chen

Located in the south of Yanqing county, the Badaling Great Wall is a distance of 75 kilometers northwest of the center of Beijing. The Badaling Great Wall is part of the Great Wall which symbolizes China's ancient civilization as one of the world's most renowned projects for defense. Construction of the Wall initially began during the period of the Warring States (476 - 221 BC). Walls were built by different kingdoms to protect their northern territories. After the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty unified China in 221 BC, he decided to have the walls linked up and extended. The Badaling Great Wall was constructed during Hongzhi 18 years (in 1505) in Ming Dynasty, it was rebuilt during Ming's Jia Jing and Wanli years. The topography of this section of the Wall is precipitous, occupying a commanding position, and was the important military mountain pass and the capital Beijing's critical barrier.

The Badaling Great Wall was built flanked by mountains and it traverses mountains and gullies, it rises and falls, windingly extended continuously. Badaling is situated outside the Juyongguan Pass. There are two strategic gates, the east one is called "outer town of Juyong", the west one is called "lock and key of the north gate". It is narrower in the north and wider in the west. The Wall was built leaning against the mountains from the "lock and key of the north gate", the height of the Wall changes at different points, it averages approximately 7.5 meters high, the top surface is approximately 6 meters wide, spacious enough for five horsemen or 10 people to ride abreast.

This section of the Great Wall is paved with three or four layers of regular shaped gigantic rocks, some of the slabs of rock reached 2 meters in length and weighed several hundred catties (catty is a weight unit used in China and it is half of the kilogram. The internal of the wall is filled up with soil and rocks, the ground is fully paved with square bricks and made extremely smooth. 1.7 meters high crenels were built externally, there are observation holes above and firing holes below, the internal wall was built with space walls. At strategic points along the Wall, square shaped beacon towers were constructed at different height. The higher one is called blockhouse, which was used for defense as well as the living space for the soldiers; The low one is called wall platform, it is about the same height as the wall itself but is sticking out of the wall, there are crenels all around it, and it was the place for patrolling and standing sentry. Blocks of woods were set up at all commanding points, hence the name beacon tower. Whenever the enemy was sighted, bonfires were lit on the towers to signal warning messages.

Since October 1st, 1995, within the distance of 1200 meters from south to north of Badaling Great Wall, 650 colorful floodlights get turned on simultaneously with enchanting light on every weekend. It's open to tourists between 6:30pm to 9:30pm at evening.

bout the Author
Jacklyn Chen - Webmaster of news-blogs.com and a full time mom with two lille kids and working very hard to make living with multiple web sites. For more articles and information about travel, visit her travel blog

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