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Nine Dragon Screen Wall


Heyang Street, Cheng District, Datong 037000, China

Reasons to visit

Ancient architecture.

Our Ratings

Opening Hours

  • Spring, summer, fall: 8:00a.m.~6:00p.m.
  • Winter: 8:30a.m.~6:00p.m.
Nine Dragon Screen Wall is sited in Heyang Street in downtown Datong, Shanxi Province China. A Nine-Dragon Wall or Nine-Dragon Screen is a type of screen wall with reliefs of nine different Chinese dragons. Such walls are typically found in imperial Chinese palaces and gardens. Screen wall is Han Chinese traditional architecture wall in a mansion for blocking the line of sight, not only to protect privacy, but also to showing auspicious blessing.

Nine Dragon Wall in Datong was built during the regime of the first Emperor of Ming Dynasty. It is a screen wall in the gate of the residence of an Imperial prince, Zhu Gui, who is the thirteenth son of Zhu Yuanzhan. Measuring 45.5 meters (150 feet) in length, 8 meters high and 45.5 meters wide, it is the oldest and largest glazed-tile Nine Dragon wall still extant in China. Yet it is still in a perfect condition today owing to its perfect architecture and craft work.

It is famous for its glazed-tile work, as can be appreciated in this detail view. With 426 glazed tiles fired specially in five different colors, the exquisite design of green wave at bottom is as sea, blue background as sky and white as clouds. The glazed nine dragons on the wall are expressing their varying movements vividly, rising out of the sea and chasing the mythical suns with the supernatural ability to control the forces of nature. Painted in different colors, these nine dragons are lively just like flying swiftly upward. The clearance among the dragons was filled with stones and float grasses. The bottom of the wall carved 41 groups of pictures of two dragons playing with the pearl. The waist of the wall was compounded with 75 pieces of relieves made up of colored glaze brick, collecting lifelike cattle, horse, sheep, dog, deer, rabbit and so on. Two fierce and colorful dragons disport among clouds and water, chasing between them a Flaming Pearl of Wisdom. These dragons only have four toes on their feet, since five-toed dragons were reserved for the Emperor himself.


Travel Guide

【Chinese name】: 九龙壁

【Opening hours】: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

【Recommended time to stay】: 1 hours

【How to get to Nine Dragon Wall in Datong】: it can be reached by public bus in the city. One can take public bus No.4 to get there directly.

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