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Badaling Great Wall

The Great Wall is a symbol of Chinese civilization, and one of the wonders that the Chinese people have created. Badaling Great Wall, the most representative part, was promoted as a key national cultural relic, protected under the approval of the State Council in 1961. In 1988, it was enlisted in the World Cultural Heritage Directory by UNESCO. On July 7, 2007, it gained the worldwide reputation once again: it was listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Badaling Great Wall is situated in Yanqing County, over 43 miles (70 kilometres) north of Beijing. It is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall, with a history dating back to 1505 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Streching about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) with 43 watch towers, this section with an average altitude of over 3,282 feet (1,000 meters) was once the outpost of the Juyongguan Pass.

The wall is tortuous like a strong dragon winding along the steep mountain ranges. The strategic geographical features make it an age-old military stronghold. Now the section opened to tourists is about 2.3 miles (3.74 kilometers) in length, with 16 watch towers restored.

The Great Wall originally functioned as a fortification. As early as the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), Qinshihuang, the first emperor of Qin Dynasty unified the whole nation and began to build the wall to protect China's borders from the intrusion of the northern nomadic tribes. Most parts of the preserved Badaling Great Wall were built and reinforced during the Ming Dynasty to defend the capital against the intrusion of these Mongolian people. The structure of the wall consists of huge bar-stones and bricks. The inside has been formed by tampering earth and small stones, which makes the wall very firm and strong. Internally, the wall is about six meters (20 feet) wide, which would allow horses to gallop five abreast. A number of small holes have been drilled on the wall to allow archers to shoot arrows. There is a barrel-drain and a moat both inside and outside the wall. In a word, military fortification has been paramount in the consideration of every wall detail.

The signal fire platforms were an important part of the whole fortification of ancient China. A signal fire platform is actually a blockhouse that was built on the top of the wall. It was used to send warning signals. Since the Ming Dynasty, the amount of smoke and gunfire released conveyed specific military information about the enemy. One release of smoke with one shot of gunfire signified 100 enemies; two smoke releases with two shots of gunfire meant 500 enemies; three smoke releases with three shots of gunfire indicated more than 1,000 enemies. Once one signal platform fired a beacon, the others would follow likewise so as to alert the command as to the strength of the enemy.

As a landmark erected at the top of a group of mountain ranges, Badaling has also witnessed many significant events in history. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty toured there, Yuan Taizu, the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) passed the wall and took control over the whole of China.

Empress Cixi fled from there to the western part of China in 1900 when an alliance of eight western countries invaded Beijing. At present, it stands still there recording the hardship and bitterness that Chinese people have endured in the past 2,000 years. It is a priceless cultural heritage of humanity.

As the earliest part of the Great Wall opened to tourists, Badaling has drawn tens of millions of tourists both from home and abroad. More than 370 foreign leaders and celebrities have visited there.
Admission Fee:
CNY 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct.31); CNY 40 (Nov.1 to Mar.31)
Cable Car:
CNY 80 (single trip); CNY 100 (round trip)
Pulley: CNY 30 (single trip); CNY 60 (round trip)
Opening Hours:
06:30-19:00 (In summer); 07:00-18:00 (In winter)

Travel Tips:
Bus: Bus line 877, 919 and 880 are available from Deshengmen Bus Station to the Wall.
Train: Visitors can take S2 series trains from Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Railway Station.

 Places for Eating & Staying
Farmhouses in nearby villages are good places for meals and staying overnights. Chadao Minsu Village is recommended.

Badaling Great Wall Travel Review

Badaling Map