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Great Wall at Mutianyu

Introducing Mutianyu Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall Guide, Mutianyu Great Wall Travel Guide
Article from Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism

Despite the hundreds of buses that visit daily, the Great Wall at Mutianyu is not as crowded as the nearby Badaling or Juyongguan sections of the Wall. Mutianyu's 2.5 kilometer stretch of the Great Wall allows you to walk for more than an hour as you explore 22 watchtowers and the valley on both sides of the Mutianyu Great Wall. During the late afternoon, or in poor weather, you often might find yourself alone with only the sound of the wind to keep you company. Travel back in time and see the Mutianyu Great Wall as it was when Mutianyu Great Wall was built hundreds of years ago.

The Mutianyu Great wall was first built in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557). In the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang, two famous patriotic generals, rebuilt it in order to strengthen its defensive potential when they guarded the strategic pass. The Mutianyu Great Wall served as the northern protective screen, guarding the capital and imperial mausoleums for generations. Reconstruction began in 1568 on 1000km of the Wall including Mutianyu. Responsibility was given to Qi Jiguang, a general who had built his credentials fighting Japanese pirates, and who took his responsibilities as a builder very seriously. Construction continued for many years, as the fortifications were built up with solid granite blocks, and included the construction of some of the larger defensive towers.

There are 22 watch towers distributed at close intervals along the Mutianyu Great Wall. They are located not only in the main wall but also at the distinctive "branch cities". Branch cities are built on the hill ridge against the inner or outer side of the Mutianyu Great Wall. They measure from several yards to dozens of yards across. On the northwest over 3,281-feet hills, lies a section of the wall called "Ox Horn Edge". On the steep and lofty peaks, there are two walls named 'Flying Eagle Flies Facing Upward' and "Arrow Lock". What is more rarely seen on the southeast side of the Mutianyu Great Wall is a general gateway platform guarded by three watch towers together. In locations of strategic importance, batteries are set up to reinforce the defense capabilities.

Mutianyu really deserves to be the archetype of the ten thousand li Great Wall. Besides its strategically important location and compact layout, the Mutianyu Great Wall is also famous for the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. The Mutianyu Great Wall presents different aspects of beauty in the four seasons. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruits in autumn, and especially in October, leaves are turning red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it seem more magnificent. The pine trees around the wall are well-known. There are more than 20 pines over 300 years old and about 200 pines over 100 year old. Besides, spring water at the foot of the Mutianyu Great Wall tastes pure and fragrant, much appreciated by visitors.

Features of the Mutianyu Great Wall

Built mainly from granite, the pass at Mutianyu is an appropriately unique section of the Mutianyu Great Wall. 7 to 8 meters high, and 4 to 5 meters high with crenellations on both sides of the Wall, the section of the Wall at Mutianyu stretches for over 2 kilometers. Matching its military importance, the Mutianyu Great Wall has 22 watchtowers built at almost 100 meter intervals. This number of towers is much more than would be expected along the Mutianyu Great Wall, and is also highlighted by the particular form and structure unique to this section. The Zheng Guan Tai gate stands with three connected watchtowers, with the center tower rising above the flanking structures. While each tower has its own gate, the main watchtower gate is on the east side of the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is quite unusual. Other unique features in this section include the "Tail Wall" which stretches out perpendicular to the Wall along a ridgeline for stronger defensive positioning, and another perpendicular extension on the other side of the Mutianyu Great Wall. Invading nomads would use the ridgelines as they marched, to avoid being caught unawares in the brambles and trees below, and the positioning of the Mutianyu Great Wall along the ridgeline and these adjoining tail walls are recognition of the importance of this high ground.

Quick Facts on Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

• Name: Great Wall at Mutianyu 
• Location: 80km North of Beijing
• Dates: Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
• Opening Hours: 08:00 - 17:00 ( April 1 to October 31); 8:30 - 16:30 (November 1 to March 31)
• Phone: +86-10-61626505
• Best Time to Visit: April to October
• Recommended Time for a Visit: 4 Hours
• Admission Fee: CNY 45
• Cable Car: CNY 80 (single trip); CNY 100 (round trip)
• Toboggan: CNY 30 (single trip); CNY 60 (round trip)

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