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Water Pass Great Wall (Shuiguan)

(People's Daily Online)

14:51, September 06, 2012

Located in Yanqing County in Beijing, 1.24 miles away from the Badaling Great Wall, the Shuiguan Great Wall was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It is the most complete and strongest section of the ten thousand li Great Wall and famous for its precipitous cliffs.

Originally, the wall was part of an ancient military defensive work. The water system was employed to defend against enemies and formed a pass, hence the name 'Shuiguan', translated as the 'Water Pass'. The wall is built along the mountain contours with stone blocks and grey bricks. There are seven watch towers and one arrow tower. The arrow tower measures 15.63 meters (51 feet) high with an average width of 12 meters (13 yards).

The wall was open to public in 1995 after repairs. Besides climbing the wall, you can also visit the Genghis Khan Palace, the Stone Buddha Temple, Luotuo Peak (Camel Peak) and the Great Wall Stele Forest nearby.

Travel Tips: Located near the Badaling Great Wall, the Shuiguan Great Wall is sometimes called the 'Badaling-Shuiguan Great Wall'. It often happens that innocent visitors are guided to the Shuiguan Great Wall instead of their original destination - the Badaling Great Wall, especially during holidays or peak periods. Travel China Guide (TCG) kindly reminds you that no matter which wall you want to visit, please consult our guide-books and web-site beforehand. Especially check the admission fees.

Surrounding Scenic Spots
Located in the middle of the famous Guangou Scenic Area, Shuiguan Great Wall is surrounded by many beautiful sights. Within 500 meters (547 yards) round, visitors can find the scenic spots like Tanqin Gorge, Golden Fish Pool and Stone Buddha Temple.

Tanqin Gorge: Walk to the riverside of the northern mouth of Tanqin Gorge Tunnel, visitors can find a steep cliff on which it is inscribed "Tanqin Gorge, Five Precious Heads", which reminds you of already reaching the former famous scenic sight – Tanqin Gorge (Playing the Piano Gorge).

In ancient times, it is a beautiful place with two mountains standing face to face and a clear stream meandering through. The stream flew down from a gentle slope and rippled over the rocks, making crystal tones echoed in the valley, just like a beautiful piano voice. Many scholars in history have left poems to describe its sweetness.

However, the construction of Jingzhang (Beijing to Zhangjiakou) Railway has leveled the small hill in the northeast. During the construction of Badaling Highway, the valley was filled in with sand and rocks. The melodious sound could not be heard any more, and only the inscription on the cliff can still be seen today.

Golden Fish Pool: The old site of Golden Fish Pool is located below the roadbed about 50m (55 yards) to the southern mouth of Tanqin Gorge Tunnel. There was once a pond where a big golden fish lived in. According to the folk tale, in the drought days, when the locals stirred the water in the pond, it would immediately begin to rain. It was highly efficacious. At last, the pool was dried and the golden fish was disappeared. In 1980s, in order to reproduce this beautiful pool, people built a square pool on the old site of it, and moved the stone carvings of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to the front of the pool. In 1990s, during the construction of Badaling Highway, people filled the pool with the spring flowing from Stone Buddha Temple and moved it to the present location.


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