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The Great Wall museum is the first one to exhibit the Great Wall culture in a comprehensive and systematic way.

Its main building takes a shape of a typical signal fire tower on the Great Wall. Inside the museum there are seven exhibition halls. The basic part of the exhibitions, titled “the Great Wall”, is divided into four sections: the Great Wall in the spring and Autumn Period and the Warring Period, the Great Wall in Qin Dynasty and Han Dynasty, the Great Wall in Sui, Tang, Liao and Jing Dynasty, and the Great Wall in Ming Dynasty. It tells the visitor the history of the Great Wall over the time of 3,000 years.

It also shows the results of the study on the Great Wall and archaeological findings of the last 50 years. There are different exhibiting forms: charts, models, diagrams, texts, and pictures. They, on the one hand, provide rich information for researchers on the Great Wall; on the other hand, provide integrated and direct knowledge for visitors. The museum is really a textbook on the Great Wall culture.

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JiayuPass, known as the “No. 1 Strategic pass in the world”, is the western end of the Great Wall.

 The existing Jiayu Pass walls were built in the time of Ming Dynasty. The construction of these walls began in 1372. It was not until 1539 that they became a complete defense system, which had three defense lines, the entrenchment, the outer wall, and the inner wall.

 There are many legends concerning the construction of the walls and the most widely spread one is“the Last Piece of Brick”. In the construction ofJiayuPass, the project official proposes a thorny request that the budget of materials must be precise. As a result, when the project was completed, almost all the materials were run out with only one piece of brick, thus this piece of brick was called the last piece of brick which is still laid on the platform of the gate wall now. Many visitors come here to take a look at the last piece of brick with the respect to the ancient artisans.

 

Beijing is not only the political center of China, but it is also the most strategic city in the north. Many dynasties in Chinese history actively built walls in this area. Among many historical ruins of the Great Wall in Beijing, the wall built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) is the most often seen and best preserved, running over 373 miles and containing about 827 city wall platforms, 71 passes and countless towers. The famous Great Wall sections include the Badaling, Huanghuacheng, Mutianyu, Jiankou, Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai great wall.

If you want to experience the culture and enjoy the beauty of the Great Wall, meandering along the bricks of the Badaling Great Wall is your first choice. It is famous for its deep-rooted culture, magnificent sights and complete military facilities – the essence of the Great Wall. You may find many pictures of it in magazines and guide books and printed on stamps. Being the must-see section of the Great Wall, it is sometimes flocked with visitors especially during holidays.

You may want to avoid the peak seasons or visit the Mutianyu Great Wall instead. It is even more beautiful and has fewer tourists. If you are nostalgic for old times, the Simatai and Gubeikou sections should be on your itinerary. These two sections are well maintained in their original states. The strong, primitive walls enhance the beauty of the wilderness.

If you are energetic and daring, adventures on the Huanghuacheng and Jiankou sections await you. The steep peaks and broken bricks will challenge your courage and curiosity. Remember to bring complete a mountaineering outfit, food and water. Water is unavailable on the wild sections.

Different sections of Beijing’s Great Wall can satisfy many different interests. Come and explore your favorite one!

Simatai Great Wall, Beijing
Simatai Great Wall, Beijing
Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing
Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing