Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great WallBadaling Great Wall is about 75 kilometers northwest of Beijing, and it is the best preserved part of the Great Wall. Bada means “convenient transportation to directions. “Roads from Badaling lead to Yanqing County to its north; Xuanhua, Zhangjiakou and Datong to the west; to the east is Yongning and Sihai; Beijing is to the south. From here, people can go in all directions; hence the name of Badaling.
Badaling Pass was an outpost of Juyongguan Pass. The Wall here raised high one mountain ridge. It used to be more important than Juyong Pass in the defense of Beijing. An old saying can be the best description: “It needs only one man to block thousand troops” or “If one man guards the pass, ten thousand can’t get through.”

The Great Wall at Badaling averages 7.8 meters high, 6.5 meters wide at its base, and 5.8 meters on the top, wide enough for five horses or ten soldiers walking abreast on the wall. The highest point at Badaling is about 800 to 1, 000 meters above sea level. Badaling Pass and the parking lot are each about: 600 meters above sea level.

The Badaling section has one side with battlements and the parapet is on the other side. The side with the battlements is about 2 meters high, and the parapet is one meter high. The outer side of the Wall is topped with crenellated battlements, and a square sized hole below for shooting arrows and also for keeping a watch over the enemy. The parapet is on the inner side.

The bottom of the Wall here is laid up with big stone blocks while the upper parts were built with large pieces of rectangular shaped bricks. Steps were built at the particularly steep slope and paved with huge stone blocks or bricks. The body of the Wall was filled up with hardened rammed earth, stones and rocks, and was covered up with large pieces of rectangular bricks.

The Badaling section is about 12 kilometers long with 24 watch towers and 4vaU platforms. There are four characters inscribed on the eastern pass of Badaling “Juyongwaizhen” which means there was another strategic town outside the Juyonass. On the western pass of Badaling, there is an inscription with four wards “Beimensuoyue” carved on the top of the pass, which means, “a key to the north gate,” describing that Badaling Pass was just like a lock on the gate of Beijing. Therefore, if the gate was unlocked by a key, Beijing would be open to danger.

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