Yulin Great Wall

Yulin, the northernmost part of Shaanxi Province, was the northern border of China in ancient times. Owing to its strategic location, many dynasties built portions of the Great Wall there to enhance the defenses over their territory. This included Qin State and Wei State during the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC), the Sui Dynasty (581-618), and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The total length is 921 miles (1,482 kilometers).
Yulin Great Wall Ruins
Yulin Great Wall
Shaanxi Yulin Great Wall
Great Wall Ruins in Yulin, Shaanxi

The table below shows detailed information on the different sections in Yulin:
Dynasties Year of Construction Location Length Current Situation
Warring States Period Qin State Unknown Built at Shenmu, Yuyang, Hengshan, and Jingbian 194 miles (312 km) Some historical relics have been discovered in Shenmu, Yuyang, Hengshan, and Jingbian
Wei State  361BC-251BC Built at Jingbian, Yuyang, etc. Unknown No obvious relics have been found.
Sui Dynasty  583 From Lingwu County in Ningxia, via Dingbian, Jingbian, Hengshan, Yuyang, and Shenmu, to Fugu. Unknown No obvious relics have been found.
Ming Dynasty Erbian Wall in the south 1473 From Huangfuchuan in Fugu to Dingbian  355 miles (571km) Most sections are in ruins.
Dabian Wall in the north (running parallel with Erbian Wall)  1474 From Qingshui in Fugu to Huamachi (today's Yanchi of Ningxia) 349 miles (561km)  Relics are well-preserved in Fugu, Shenmu, Yuyang, Hengshan, Jingbian, and Dingbian of Yulin; Wuqi of Yan'an.

The sections of the Great Wall during the Warring States Period and the Sui Dynasty have mostly gone due to natural erosion and human activities; few relics can be seen today.

Fortunately, the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty is comparatively well-preserved, especially the section between Shenmu and Yuyang. The wall has a core of rammed earth, enclosed by bricks. Battlements of 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) height are built along the outer side, while parapets of 2.6 feet (0.8 meter) height are on the inner side. There were 45 forts dotted along the wall, and 36 of them still remain today. Additionally, there are 93 watchtowers, 890 cliff-side fortresses, as well as many beacon towers, moats, and horse blocking pits. Today, you can still admire its magnificence from the remaining sites, such as Zhenbeitai, Jian'an Fort, Weiwu Fort, and Changle Fort.

Zhenbeitai Great Wall in Yulin
Zhenbeitai, known as the "First Tower of the Great Wall", is the largest watchtower along the Great Wall. It was constructed in 1607 during the Ming Dynasty. The tower consists of four levels, and has a height of about 100 feet (30 meters).

Jian'an Fort

"Jian'an Fort" literally means "Establishing Peace Fort", which indicates the desire for peace during the Ming Dynasty. The fort is located in Daheta Village, Daheta Town, Yuyang District, about 9 miles (15 kilometers) to the north of downtown Yulin. It was constructed in 1475, and reinforced in 1608. The fort has basically a rectangular shape, with a perimeter of 0.9 mile (1.4 kilometers). The East Gate is well-preserved. The Southwest Turret, made from rammed earth, still remains. It is on this turret that Guanyin Temple was constructed recently.

Weiwu Fort

The fort is located in Weiwubu Village, Tawan Town, Hengshan District. It was first built in 1470; the height raised in 1572; the fort was reinforced in 1578. Weiwu Fort has a square shape. It has three gates, the northern Zhenshuo Gate, the eastern Zhenfu Gate, and the southern Weiwu Gate. There are relics of the City God Temple, Sanguan Temple, and Administrative Offices inside the fort. Sadly, the bricks and stones of the wall have been removed by the locals to build their houses. Only the rammed earth core can be identified today.

Changle Fort

"Changle" literally means "Endless Happiness". The fort was built in 1489, and restored in 1578 and 1596. More than 600 soldiers were once stationed there. The fort has a rectangular shape, with a perimeter of 1 mile (1.68 kilometers). The outer bricks of the wall were removed by the locals, and the inner rammed earth has been severely weathered and covered by sand. Today, only the East Gate and Southern Wall are relatively well-preserved.

The Great Wall of Yulin needs urgent protection. The bricks and stones are still being removed by locals. In consequence, the rammed earth core is exposed, and is vulnerable to natural erosion. In addition, some sections have been cut or even torn down for the construction of houses, roads, etc.

- Last updated on Apr. 15, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Yulin Great Wall
Asked by Mrs.Alyssa Koletis from USA | Mar. 01, 2011 12:59Reply
Could you pleases tell me what the Great Wall of China is used for in the present day?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Frank | Mar. 02, 2011 20:01

Mostly for tourism
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