Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Great Wall at Badaling

Known in China as the “Ten Thousand Li Wall”, the Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west, its length totaling over 6.000 kilometers. It is one of the seven wonders in the world. From the moon, one can recognize two of the most giant wonders on the earth, one of them being China’s Great Wall.
Construction of the Wall began in the 7th century B.C. The then separatist ducal states in the north built walls around their territories to ward off invasion from neighboring states. In 221 B.C. Qin Shi Huang unified China and linked these walls, laying the foundation for the present Great Wall. During the dynasties after this, the wall had been repaired and strengthened. The present Great Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty over 600 years ago.
Badaling is the “North pass” of Yuyongguan Pass, the important strategic Pass of the Great Wall. It used to be the heavily guarded outpost to safeguard the capital Peking (Beijing). In 1505, a city on the pass with two opposite gates “Yuyong Outskirts” and “Key to North Gate” was built. The terrain is strategically situated and access to it difficult. It is said that “Ten thousand people can’t pass even when there is only one guard here”.
The Wall at Badaling is 7.8 meters high and about 5 meters wide, built with rectangular slabs of stones and green bricks on the hills. There are watchtowers at strategic points along the Wall.
The Great Wall is the symbol of the Chinese nation and a world famous tourist spot. Both Chinese and foreign tourist like to flock here where all are welcome.

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