Juyongguan Great Wall
Juyongguan Great Wall is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. 37 miles (60 km) from downtown Beijing, Juyong Pass was a solid stronghold encircling a valley, which was the northern direct access to Beijing in ancient times.
Why Visit Juyongguan Rather Than Others
Besides the ancient wall, many old buildings, like towers and temples, can be seen there.
Stairs on the western part are quite steep while the other side is gentler, suitable for people who are energetic and those who are weak in sports.
37 miles (60 kilometers) away from downtown Beijing, it is the nearest section from the city proper.
Basic Facts of Juyongguan Great Wall
Situated in a valley surrounded by mountains on two sides, it has long been a military stronghold.
It was first built in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC) and Warring States Period (476 – 221 BC) by Yan State as a fortification, and was linked to the Great Wall of China in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (386 – 589).
Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), ordered the pass to be rebuilt to protect the northern borders from Mongol invasions. The extant pass was built then, and renovated in 1992.
The mountain to the east is the 492 feet (150 meters) high Cuiping Mountain, with 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) of wall on its ridges. To the west is 1,152 feet (351 meters) Jingui Mountain, with 3,937 feet (1,200 meters) of wall built on it. The walls on the two mountains look like giant arms cradling the buildings of the valley.
|Vivid Sculptures of Cloud Platform|
The pass is roughly circular with a perimeter of about 4,530 yards (4,142 meters) long. The widest point of the wall is 18 yards (16.7 meters), while the narrowest measures only 1.3 yards (1.2 meters).
It consists of two gates, one in the south and the other in the north, respectively called Nan (south) Guan (gate) and Bei (north) Guan. Two high watchtowers were built at each gate.
There is a high platform called Cloud Platform in the center of the pass. It is a white marble construction. There used to be buildings on top of the platform, but they were destroyed by fire and only the marble base remains. An arched doorway penetrates the platform. On the walls of the doorway, statues of four heavenly gods and sutra scriptures were carved.
|Admission Fee||April to October||CNY 45 for adults and children over 3.9 feet (1.2 meters).||Free for children less than 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) in height.|
|November to March||CNY 40 for adults and children over 3.9 feet (1.2 meters).|
|Opening Hours||April to October||8:00 – 17:00|
|November to March||8:30 – 16:00|
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How to Tour Juyongguan Great Wall
It is a closed loop. You can finish your whole trip without backtracking, in one day. You can also have a half-day tour only visiting half of it.
From south gate (main entrance), you can start your tour either eastward or westward. Stairs in the eastern section are gentler than the western side. Those who are not too fit can pick the eastern route.
When arriving at the north gate, visitors can take a good rest there, and then decide whether to continue the other half or not. If you are too tired to finish the whole tour, you can come back down and visit buildings inside the pass.
Two gate towers are now the best view points to see the full picture of the pass. No. 13 Beacon Tower at the west section is the highest point of the scenic area. You can have a bird's-eye-view of the pass there, too.
Stairs can be very slippery when wet. You'd better check the weather before your visit to avoid bad conditions.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
The best times to visit this section are April, May, September and October. In April and May, the green mountains are dotted with beautiful flowers. The ancient wall is immersed in a sea of flowers. In autumn, the flamboyant leaves form another highlight of the scenic area. To have a joyful visiting experience, you should avoid the tour peaks of the May Day Holiday (May 1 to May 3) and the National Day Holiday (October 1 to October 7).
How to Get to Juyongguan Great Wall from Downtown Beijing
By Bus: Chang 68
Take subway line 13 to Longze Station. Then, take bus line Chang 19, Chang 21, Chang 58, Zhuan 53, 519, or 878 to Shahe Station. Afterwards, take bus line Chang 68 to get there.
Or, you can take bus line 345, 670, 883, 889, or 919 from Deshengmen West Station to Shahe Station. Then, transfer to bus line Chang 68 to the site.
By Train: S2
Take subway line 2, line 4 or line 13 to Beijing North Railway Station to take train S2. Get off at Badaling Railway Station, and then take free shuttle bus to Badaling Bus Station. After, take bus 879 and get here.
Where to Eat
There's no restaurant in the scenic area. You'd better take some snacks. Visitors always get sweating. So bringing some bottled water is also necessary.
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