Badaling Great Wall
Badaling Great Wall is located in Yanqing
County, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from central Beijing. It
is the most visited section of the Great Wall of China. About
370 state leaders and VIPs have visited Badaling Great Wall,
which include the former US president Richard Nixon, The section
is located about 1,015 meters above sea level, and is the
outpost of Juyongguan Pass. The Great Wall at Badalling runs
along mountain ridges with precipitous valleys, which makes
it strategic importance and defense of Beijing in ancient
Badaling Great Wall was built in the 18th
year (1505) of the reign of emperor Hongzhi of the Ming Dynasty.
It had undergone successive repairs during the reign of Jiajing
and Wanli, both emperors of the Ming Dynasty, with additions
of watchtowers and beacon towers.
The Badaling Section of the Great Wall had
witnessed many great historic events. Qinshihuang, the first
emperor of China, passed Badaling on his trip back to Xianyang,
capital of the Qin Dynasty, from his journey to Jieshi (today's
Changni in Hebei Province) to search for elixir. Yuan Tai
Zhu, the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, and other emperors
of the Yuan Dynasty, passed the Badaling Great Wall on their
journey from Beijing to Shangdu. Shangdu was the summer capital
of the Yuan Dynasty. The city was located in Today's Inner
Mongolia, about 175 kilometers north of Beijing. It was once
a very prosperous town. However, today, only ruins remain.
Empress Dowager Cixi fled from Badaling Great Wall to the
western part of China when the allied forces of eight western
countries invaded Beijing. Doctor Sun Yat-sen also visited
The wall in Badaling Great Wall is 6-9 meters
tall and about 6 meters in width, which allows five horses
to gallop abreast and ten people to go shoulder to shoulder.
The outsides of the wall were built with granite slabs, with
the longest one reaching 3.1 meters and each weighing 1.5
to 1.7 tons
There are 43 watchtowers in the Badaling
Section of the Great Wall. The towers look similar in shape
while each one has its own characters. The tower, in general,
is comprised of two storeys. It is 10 meters tall and 1o meters
in both width and length. Each storey is equipped with shooting
holes, which allows archers to shoot arrows, lookout holes
and drain holes. These drain holes can drain water outside
of the wall, and they has protected the Great Wall from the
erosion of rain water over a long period of time.
One important features of the defensive
system of Badaling Great Wall is the war daises. War daises
are blockhouse-like structures built at regular intervals
along the wall, usually at places of strategic importance.
The inside of the war daise was used to store ammunition,
and food and water to survive a month-long siege. Those daises
together with watchtowers and city daises form the formidable
defensive system of the Great Wall
City Dais, also called wall dais, is a platform
structure slightly higher than the wall. Crenellated walls, crenels
and shooting holes are built around the city daises. It served two
purposes: as a watchtower and as a platform from which to defend
the wall during enemy attacks.