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China Travel Guide

Badaling Great Wall


Attraction Type:


Badaling Great Wall, also known as Ba Da Ling (八达岭) in Chinese spelling is the most the most representative part of the Great Wall of China, as well as the most visited section. It is located in Yanqing County, over 70 kilometers (43 miles) the northwestern suburbs of Beijing city. The Great Wall is a symbol of ancient Chinese civilization and a world-renowned fortification. Stretching 6,350 kilometers on the mountains in Northern China, the Great Wall was first built in the 7th century B.C. and completed during the reign of the first Emperor of Qin. It was extended during the Ming Dynasty. Being one of the "seven wonders of the world", it has been listed as a world cultural heritage.

Badaling Great Wall was the first section of the Great Wall that opened to the public in 1957 and it has undergone a couple of restoration. It is one of the best-preserved and most accessible sections. In addition, the Jinshanling, Mutianyu and Simatai Sections of the Great Wall are also well-preserved and worth visiting. Now visited by million every year, the nearby area of Badaling Great Wall has had significant development, including hotels, restaurants and transportation. To date, 3,741-meter section of the Badaling Great Wall has been opened to tourists, comprising 21 city units and enemy units. It was built along the ridges of mountains, looking precipitous from the external wall but gently sloped from the internal wall. It is a year-round travel destination. Badaling scenic area is world-famous for its magnificent scenery, excellent facilities, deep cultural and historical connotations. "He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man" is talking about Badaling Great Wall. So far, Badaling has received numerous foreign visitors, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagon, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Elizabeth II and Edward Heath and other 372 foreign leaders and many of the world-famous men. They all boarded the Badaling and were deeply impressed with the Great Wall, with infinite reverie, which is rare among the scenery attractions in the world.

History of Badaling Great Wall
The Great Wall at Badaling was built in the 18th year (1505) of the reign of Hong Zhi, an emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It built barrier plug in each port, and each port on the hill built on both sides of the border town, shoot walls, retaining walls and other horses, as well as fortresses. It was renovated later in Jiajing and Wanli reign of the same Dynasty, with its strategic position; Badaling Section took tremendous labor and materials. It was a vital protective screen of Beijing city and the important military pass of Ming Dynasty in ancient times. Winding along the ridge of the mountain, Badaling Section of the Great Wall is vividly dragon like. Since Qing Dynasty, Badaling Great Wall had growingly fallen into ruin. The Key to the Northern Gate to the west of Juyong Pass was damaged by half. The Outer Town to the east of Juyong Pass was on the verge of collapse.In 1952, three years after the founding of New China, Guo Moruo, vice-premier and director of the Culture and Education Commission, proposed to repair Badaling Great Wall to receive Chinese and foreign tourists. Badaling Great Wall became the first section of the Great Wall that opened to the public in 195. In 1961, the State Council approved to list Badaling passes and walls as a state-level major cultural relic preservation site. In 1984, comrade Deng Xiaoping advocated to “Love China and Repair Great Wall.” Since then, the centuries-old Great Wall took on new scenes.

What to see in Badaling Great Wall
Wangjing Stone
Badaling is located off the East Door of Badaling. It is s a one-meter high and 15-meter long natural granite stone, inscribed with "Wang Jing Shi" words on it.

Fork City
The whole city is an irregular rectangle building. It is a little convex in the middle and concave by the both sides. The whole building was constructed against the mountain and half of it is half-way up the hill. The city is 510 meters long from east to west and 185 meters from north to south. The walls are 8.5 meters high. It is boat shaped. The total area of the city is about 83,000 square meters. It is built by bricks, lime and mud. The city has a horse track. Outside of buildings wall, there are forts, watch holes, shooting hole and two beacon towers in the south side.

Ancient Cannons
They are display at the entrance of Badaling pass, near to the horse road. There are a total of five of them. The ancient cannons were one of advanced weapons at that time. The largest one has the barrel length of 2.85 meters, with the caliber of 105 millimeter. The firing range of it can reach more than one thousand meters.
 

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 The Fork City Ancient Cannons


Pass City
Badaling Pass City has two gates: the East Gate and the West Gate. The west of it is over 20 meters wide, 17 meters thick and 7.8 meters tall. The base of it is built with 10 layers of granite stone and the top of it is a rectangular building, which is 19.8 meters long and 14.15 meters wide. There are watch towers and crenel by the four sides of it.

City Wall
The city wall of Badaling Great Wall is 6 to 9 meters high. It is trapezoid shape. It is 6.5 to 7.5 meters wide at the bottom while 4.5 to 5.8 m wide on the top. Most of the top of the wall is wide flat.

Watchtowers
There are a total of 43 fortresses and watchtowers on Badaling Great Wall, similar shapes but different features, including platform for patrolling. There are upper and lower layers of watchtowers. The lower layer is used for the accommodation and materiel storage room for the soldiers, while the upper layer is set with crenels and shooting holes. They are all built by bricks and stones. The are a total of 16 watchtowers in this place.

China Great Wall Museum
This museum is themed the Great Wall of China. It is a comprehensive museum that fully reflects the historical, political, military, economic and cultural of the Great Wall. It is located off the Badaling Pass City and opened in 1994. There are a total of nine exhibition halls of it, which covers an exhibition area of more than 3000 square meters. The exhibition is focused around the unearthed artifacts and specimens from the Great Wall, supplemented by informative historical documents, photographs and models. It also makes use of modern technology and high-tech display means, light, electricity, etc. to show the Great Wall, which is quite unique in China.

Travel Tips

Best travel time
The best time to travel to Badaling Great is in spring and autumn, which is cool and sunny. Especially in autumn, the sky is clear and the air is crisp in Beijing. It is an ideal time that is called "Golden Beijing" by foreign and domestic visitors. The best month is in April, May, September and October.
Opening hours
It is open to public from 6:30 am to 19:00 pm in summer days; from 7:00 am to 18:00 pm in winter days
Transportation
1 Travelers can take buses at Deshengmen Arrow Tower to get there. The nearest subway station to Deshengmen is Jishuitan Station (subway line 2, Exit A)
2 Travelers could also take a train from North Railway Station to get there. The entrance to the Great Wall is a fifteen to twenty minutes' walk from the Badaling Railway Station.
3 If travelers would like to go from the South Gate of Forbidden City (Meridian Gate), they should take Bus No.5 at Tiananmen Square East or Tiananmen West, get off at Deshengmen Station and then take Bus No. 877, 919 or 880 to get there.

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(Attractions: Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Badaling Great Wall, Summer Palace, Hutong)

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