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La Grande Muraglia (Changcheng)

La Wanli changcheng, da noi nota come la Grande Muraglia. La traduzione del nome cinese è "il lungo muro di 10.000 li". Il li è una misura di lunghezza cinese equivalente a 500 m. In realtà la somma dei tratti di muraglia è più lunga, arrivando a 5760 km.

Il tratto generalmente visitato dai turisti è quello del Passo di Badaling, restaurato in tempi relativamente recenti, a cui si accede su strada asfaltata o con ferrovia. Fu costruita sotto Qin Shihuangdi (l'unificatore della Cina) a partire dal 220 a.C., ma la costruzione dei primi elementi risale all'epoca dei Regni Combattenti (VII-VI sec. a.C.). All'edificazione vi hanno preso parte 300.000 uomini per 10 anni. Ha un'altezza media di 7-8 m, una larghezza di 6,5 alla base e 5,5 m alla sommità; una torre ogni 200-300 m, un parapetto semplice verso sud e merlato verso nord, un percorso di varia ripidità e spesso interrotto da scarpate e da scale irregolari, protetto da un lastricato di grossi blocchi di pietra. La spiegazione corrente è che essa fu innalzata per contenere i barbari delle steppe mongoliche. Ma quest'enorme serpente archiettonico è stato principalmente concepito e realizzato per proteggere la coltivazione dei campi dalle incursioni delle genti nomadi delle steppe. Svolse anche una funzione civilizzatrice, in quanto esigeva lo stanziamento di decine di migliaia di operai e di militari ai confini delle regioni tradizionali; provocava il contatto di popolazioni molto diverse e ne catalizzava l'attenzione e l'interesse. Infine fu una via di comunicazione scorrevole perché lastricata, sicura perché sempre protetta dai soldati (di notizie e di mezzi di trasporto) perché, data la sua larghezza, era stato possibile adattare, in cima, una piattaforma stradale percorribile.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall, is located more than 70 kilometers northwest from the center of Beijing City, with more than 1000 meters above sea level, occupies a commanding and strategic position. Badaling is the best-preserved section of the Beijing Great Wall. 370 foreign leaders and very important persons have come to climb Badaling successively. It is a defensive outpost of the Great Wall. It is called "Bada" as it stretches in all directions.

Badaling Great wall was built in the 18th year of the Ming Hong Zhi reign (1505). The wall, built with high stone slabs on the outside, is 7.8 meters high on the average, some even reaches 8.4meters. The base of the wall was built with more than 2000 large rectangular slab of granite stones. It is about 6.5 meters wide on the average at its base and 5.7 meters wide on the average on the ramparts. The wall is wide enough for five horses to gallop abreast and ten people to advance shoulder to shoulder. The outside of the wall is called rampart wall. The rampart wall was built with bricks 1.7 meters high. Built for the purpose of defense, there are holes on the tip of the wall called watch-hole, and peepholes under the wall called embrasures. Inside of the wall, there are low walls with one meter high called parapets, which can be used as railings. There is a scroll door not far from the inside wall, with is a stone ladder for climbing up and down. The wall is narrow on the top and broad on the bottom forming an adder-shape structure. This made the wall stands firmly on the rise and fall ridges. The wall was built with 10-14 rectangular slab of stones surrounding its outside, filled with soilsand stones in the middle, and paved with square bricks on the top between the bricks were stuck with lime stones. This makes the wall tidy, beautiful, and firm. There are gutters with gargoyles to drain rain-water off the parapet wall.

The landscape of Badaling Great Wall changes every season, with numerous scenery to catch your attention. A sunlit and enchanting scene of spring, with the valley covered with greens. When the rain from mountain comes, the vista will look vast and hazy. The sky in autumn is high with unsoiled stratosphere, while the maple forest is dyed in golden colour. White snow covers the whole scene in winter.

Travel Tips

Recommended Time for a Visit: Two and a half hours.
How to get there: Take Bus919. Or take tourist bus No. 1 at Front Gate, No. 2 at Beijing Railway Station, the west gate of Beijing History Museum, No. 3 at East Bridge, No. 4 at Xizhi Gate or Beijing Zoo, No.5 from the west Taxi station at the Front Gate, No.8 from AnDingmen or Qianmen station
Hints: You'd better consult clearly before going there in the peak season or holidays, sometimes visitors are caught with chaff to be guided to the Shuiguan not Badaling section for the addmission fee is different.


Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu is located in HuairouCounty, Beijing which successfully hosted the NGO Tribune of the United Nation's Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Northern Qi (550-577) started to construct a wall here. During the Ming Hong.

Wu reign (1368-1398), General Xu Da built the Great Wall on its foundation. The MutianyuPass was erected in 1404 (the 2nd year of the Ming Yong Le reign). Construction continued when General Qi Jiguang was transferrel to Jizhou to command the garrison area in 1568 (the 2nd year of the Long Qing reign). Click Here to Search a Great Wall Tour >>

The fortifications and the Great Wall here are characterized by many watchtowers on overlapping mountain ranges. The wall, built with slabs of stone, is crenellated on both sides with bricks. Horsetrapping snares outside the wall offer better protection and ward off attacks. With Juyongguan in the west and Gubeikou in the east.

Mutianyu serves as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. With vegetation, green pines and cypresses covering 90 per cent of the area, the sceneries here are beautiful all the year round.

Opening Hours: 07:30 to 17:20
Recommended Time for a Visit: Two and a half hours
How to get there: Take Bus no 916 or take tourist Bus No. 6 at Xuanwumen Gate

Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling is 140 kilometers at the north-east end of Beijing City, there is a section of the Great Wall, called Jinshanling Great Wall. It is 90 kilometers to the Mountain Resort of Chengde. A tablet with the Chinese inscription of "Jinshanling Great Wall" was set in this section.

On the right is the full view of the Jinshanling Great Wall. Its east end connects to the Simatai Great Wall. Jinshangling Great Wall got its name because it was built on the bigger and the smaller Jinshan Mountains.

The Jinshanling Great Wall was initially built from 1368 to 1389 in the Ming Dynasty, and in 1567 or 1570 rebuilding of the Wall was mainly directed by General Qi Jiguang. Poems and tablet writings can be found on the Jinshanling Great Wall left from the time Qi Jiguang directed building of this section of the Great Wall.

The total length of this section is about eleven kilometers (6.8 miles), and the scenic spot of the Jinshanling Great Wall has an area of 32 square kilometers. The Wall is about seven to eight meters high and five to six meters wide, which is made of brick and stone. The Jinshanling Great Wall has an elevation of 700 meters. Watching Beijing Tower is on the highest position, from which you can see Beijing. The Jinshanling Great Wall is second only to the Badaling Great Wall in its completeness.

There are more than 100 enemy towers along the whole Jinshanling Great Wall. Built stably and elegantly, different towers have different structures and appearances. Rows of 3-meter-high Barrier Walls were built leading to the enemy towers to protect the towers. Some of the towers are storerooms as well. They were used to store food, hay and weapons.

Two of so many enemy towers are bigger Jinshan and smaller Jinshan. There is a legend about them. It was said that the two towers were built by 3000 soldiers from the Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces led northward by Qi Jiguang. In order to remind themselves of their hometowns, the names of bigger and smaller JinshanIslands in ZhenjiangCity, which is in JiangsuProvince, were used to name the two enemy towers.

As there are relatively few tourists at Jinshanling Great Wall, it is a good place to explore on foot.

In early mornings of spring and summer you can see a remarkable view - "CloudSea" below you from the Wall.

The Jinshanling Great Wall has never been repaired. You are safer when you visit this section of the Great Wall than other parts. It is safer as the service in this section of Great Wall includes that one tour guide is responsible for one tourist, for his/her safety actually. When needed, the tour guides will go hand in hand to protect the tourists.

An 800-meter long cable was built to entertain the tourists. Also a 3-kilometer section of the Wall was rebuilt and is bathed after dark in colored light, making a splendid "Night Great Wall".

Opening Hours: 08:00 to 16:50
Recommended Time for a Visit: Two hours

Simatai Great Wall

The Simatai section of the Great Wall, not far from the Gubeikou section, is located at GubeikouTown in the northeast of MiyunCounty, Beijing, 120 kilometers from the city center. Its construction started in the early Hongwu years (1368-1398) of the Ming Dynasty. Like most sections of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall often visited today, this section was also built under the supervision of General Qi Jiguang.

The Simatai Great Wall is 5.4 km long with all together 35 watchtowers. As the east section of the Gubeikou defense line, this magnificent section features great strategic significance. Built hundreds of years ago, the Simatai Great Wall still retains all its original appearance. It not only incorporates a variety of styles of other parts of the 10, 000-li-long wall, but also displays some unique characteristics. This section of the Great Wall is often described with the following five words: perilous, dense, diverse, ingenuous, and peculiar.

In the valley, the Simatai Great Wall is separated into two parts by the Simatai Reservoir, over which a chain bridge runs through east to west. Like two huge golden dragons, the two parts of the Great Wall wind down from the east and west mountains into the reservoir, forming a wonderful reflection of the magnificent Great Wall in the clear blue water.

The Simatai Great Wall, with densely-dispersed watchtowers snaking along the mountain ridges, looks spectacular. On the hills with gentle slopes in the west, twenty watchtowers are well preserved. However, the west part of Simatai, where fifteen watchtowers densely cover the mountain peaks almost one thousand meters high, appears to be more breathtaking.

The watchtowers on the Simatai Great Wall exhibit a refined design and various structures, among which the most celebrated are the Wangjinglou(Watching Beijing Tower), where one can enjoy lights of Beijing at night in the distance, and Xiannulou (Angel's Tower), which is characterized by its exquisite structure,with no reference concerning its name origin.

Along the Simatai Great Wall one can also find a section laid with bricks carrying inscriptions, such as "Made by Qiangzi Camp","Made by the left camp of Shandong in the 6th year of the Wanli reign" and "Made by the infantry camp of suppressing enemy troops in the 6th year of the Wanli reign". These messages not only record their origin, but also the period of time they were written.

With its fantastic scenery and precipitous topography, the Simatai Great Wall is a remarkable place for sightseeing, hiking and exploration. It has been acknowledged by the UNESCO as one of the World Cultural Heritages.

Opening Hours: 08:00 to 16:50
Recommended Time for a Visit: Two hours
How to get there: Take bus No.12 from Xuan Wu Gate directly to Simatai.
Hints: Private tour to Simatai is available. Contact us for more information.

Simatai section. Molte fotografie. 


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