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Renovating Jiankou Great Wall with traditional bricks

(People's Daily Online)    16:36, June 05, 2020
Renovating Jiankou Great Wall with traditional bricks
A man walks behind a mule carrying bricks at the foot of the Jiankou section of the Great Wall in Beijing’s Huairou district.

At one of the most precipitous and least restored stretches of China's Great Wall, a line of three mules loaded with traditional bricks start moving in response to their masters’ swearing.

This is how bricks are being transported to restore Jiankou, a section of the Great Wall in Huairou district of Beijing known for its jagged ridges and sharp slopes.

To preserve the natural beauty and maintain the original design of the cultural relic to the greatest extent possible, traditional bricks and other construction materials are being hauled by mules and laid by hand using simple tools.

25 of the 48 watchtowers have so far been restored since the renovation plan was launched in 2016. The third phase of restoration work on the treacherous 1,094-meter part of this section of the wall began on April 17. About 80 workers in two restoration teams usually work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“A mule can carry 10 square bricks of about 165 kilograms, and a man can manage a pack of three mules each time,” said 60-year-old mule owner Wang Zhanbian, adding that only 120 bricks can be transported by three mules each day. To realize this target, these beasts of burden have to traverse the ridges for more than 8 hours a day. Laborers will carry bricks to places the mules can’t access.

Limited space makes it extremely difficult to lay bricks there, according to Cheng Yongmao, the 64-year-old engineer in charge of the reconstruction project, adding that only experienced workers who have received the proper training are selected. Some of them have worked on Great Wall restoration projects for 15 years.

 

 


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(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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