Great Wall in Shaanxi

Broken Great Wall in Shaanxi
Shaanxi Great Wall      Pictures

Basic Facts of the Great Wall in Shaanxi

 Length: over 1,243 miles (2,000 kilometers)

 Location: in at least 17 counties and cities, including Fugu, Shenmu, Dingbian, Jingbian, and Yuyang in Yulin; Wuqi and Fuxian in Yan'an; Hancheng, Dali, Heyang, Pucheng, Chengcheng, and Baishui in Weinan, etc.
 See more about Yulin Great Wall

 Construction time: one is the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC) by Qin and Wei states about 2,400-2,500 years ago; the other is the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) about 550 years ago.

Great Wall of the Qin State

It comprises the East Line and North Line:

Map of Shaanxi Great Wall
Map of Great Wall in Shaanxi
(Click to enlarge)

The East Line was built three times in 461BC, 417BC, and 408BC respectively. It was used to defend against the Wei State in the east. Most relics were found in Weinan. It is verified that the wall built in 408BC starts from southeast Huayin, crosses the Weihe River, and runs along Luohe River. Then, it goes by Chengcheng Village and Shayuan of Dali; Qian'er Village in Longchi Town, Pinglumiao Town, Xitou Village in Luobing Town of Pucheng; and reaches the southern foot of Huanglong Mountain in Baishui County. Today, you can see some relics in the Chongquan Ancient City in Suzhen New Area, Pucheng County.

In order to prevent the invasion of northern Nomadic people, Qin State also constructed the North Line. It starts from Huachi County of Gansu Province, via Wuqi, Zhidan, Jingbian, Hengshan, Yuyang, Shenmu of Shaanxi Province, and enters Ejin Horo Banner, Erdos of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The relics that were found in the mountainous areas in Wuqi, Zhidan, and Jingbian are 1 foot (0.3 meter) to 20 feet (6 meters) high. The relics in Hengshan, Yuyang, and Shenmu are mainly distributed in the Maowusu Desert. The wall is made of rammed earth and stones. The lower part of the wall has been covered by the sand, and the part above the ground is 3 feet (1 meter) to 7 feet (2 meters) high. In addition, along the wall were also found barriers, kilns, beacon towers, tombs, and various weapons.

Great Wall of the Wei State

It consists of West Line and South Line. It functioned as the boundary of Qin State and Wei State. Some experts found that some sections in Huayin were constructed twice, so they predict that the wall may be built on the base of Qin State Wall. Today, you can see some relics in Huayin, Dali, and Hancheng.
 See more about Great Wall Relics of the Wei State

Great Wall of Wei State in Hancheng
Wei State Relics
Zhenbeitai, Yulin, Shaanxi
Zhenbeitai in Yulin

Ming Dynasty Great Wall

It was constructed in 1473 and 1474. The wall is comparatively well-preserved. Originally, there were 45 forts along the wall; 36 can still be seen. The forts are in square, rectangular, circular, and irregular shapes. They are built on the mountain slopes, by the rivers, and on the grassland. In addition, there are 12 watchtowers, 101 turrets, 52 barbicans and gates, 4 water gates, 1 moat, and 17 towers, 2 temple, 8 dwellings, and some beacon towers.

Most importantly, you can see the well-preserved Zhenbeitai Tower in Yulin. It was built during the Ming Dynasty, and is known as the "First Tower of the Great Wall". The tower consists of four levels, with a height of over 100 feet (30 meters). Ascending the tower, you will have a bird's-eye view. The boundless yellow desert beyond the wall and the luxuriant green forests within the wall contrast finely with each other.

Immediate Protection Is Required

Compared with other sections, Shaanxi Great Wall is poorly protected. Some sections built by the rivers have disappeared because of constant water erosion. Some sections are gradually engulfed by desert. Other remaining sections are suffering from human destruction. Most of the bricks are removed by locals to build houses and roads, leaving the inner rammed earth exposed to air. Moreover, you can find graffiti on the bricks at Zhenbeitai. Local governments have enacted laws to protect the wall, and regulate human activities. Also, they have invested a large amount of money to install some protective facilities. But more work is needed from locals and tourists. Let's act now to protect the heritage of all human beings before its disappearance. Never litter, graffiti, or damage it. Cherish the precious relic, and leave it to later generations.

 Further Reading: Shaanxi Travel Guide