Jinshanling Great Wall
140 kilometers at the north-east end of Beijing City, there is a section of the Great Wall, called Jinshanling Great Wall. It is 90 kilometers to the Mountain Resort of Chengde. A tablet with the Chinese inscription of "Jinshanling Great Wall" was set in this section.
On the right is the full view of the Jinshanling Great Wall. Its east end connects to the Simatai Great Wall. Jinshangling Great Wall got its name because it was built on the bigger and the smaller Jinshan Mountains.
The Jinshanling Great Wall was initially built from 1368 to 1389 in the Ming Dynasty, and in 1567 or 1570 rebuilding of the Wall was mainly directed by General Qi Jiguang. Poems and tablet writings can be found on the Jinshanling Great Wall left from the time Qi Jiguang directed building of this section of the Great Wall.
The total length of this section is about eleven kilometers (6.8 miles), and the scenic spot of the Jinshanling Great Wall has an area of 32 square kilometers. The Wall is about seven to eight meters high and five to six meters wide, which is made of brick and stone. The Jinshanling Great Wall has an elevation of 700 meters. Watching Beijing Tower is on the highest position, from which you can see Beijing. The Jinshanling Great Wall is second only to the Badaling Great Wall in its completeness.
There are more than 100 enemy towers along the whole Jinshanling Great Wall. Built stably and elegantly, different towers have different structures and appearances. Please see the left picture - it is one of the enemy towers. Rows of 3-meter-high Barrier Walls were built leading to the enemy towers to protect the towers. Some of the towers are storerooms as well. They were used to store food, hay and weapons.
Two of so many enemy towers are bigger Jinshan and smaller Jinshan. There is a legend about them. It was said that the two towers were built by 3000 soldiers from the Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces led northward by Qi Jiguang. In order to remind themselves of their hometowns, the names of bigger and smaller Jinshan Islands in Zhenjiang City, which is in Jiangsu Province, were used to name the two enemy towers.
JinShanLing Great Wall, although a bit smaller and narrower than BaDaLing and MuTianYu, features complicated and well preserved fortification systems. JinShanLing Great Wall meanders through fantastic natural scenery and connects to SiMaTai Great Wall to the east.
JinShanLing Great Wall is slightly in ruins and thereby has a special beauty. The wall is 7.8 m high and 5 - 6 m thick at the bottom. On the top, the wall is about 4 meters wide with 2 meters high parapets on each side. On the side facing the enemy were 2 m high crenels called DuoKou. On the upper part of the DuoKou were large openings used to watch and shoot at attackers. On the lower part were small openings ('loopholes') through which defenders could also shoot while in greater safety from incoming fire.
As there are relatively few tourists at Jinshanling Great Wall, it is a good place to explore on foot.
In early mornings of spring and summer you can see a remarkable view - "Cloud Sea" below you from the Wall.
The Jinshanling Great Wall has never been repaired. You are safer when you visit this section of the Great Wall than other parts. It is safer as the service in this section of Great Wall includes that one tour guide is responsible for one tourist, for his/her safety actually. When needed, the tour guides will go hand in hand to protect the tourists.
An 800-meter long cable was built to entertain the tourists. Also a 3-kilometer section of the Wall was rebuilt and is bathed after dark in colored light, making a splendid "Night Great Wall".
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