Juyongguan Great Wall

juyongguanJuyongguan Pass is located 50 kilometers northwest of downtown Beijing. The mountains flanking the valley have many graceful peaks. The slopes on both sides of the narrow passes are covered with dense trees and plants. So, it used to be one of the famous “Eight Views of Yanjing”. There was a 20-kilometer-long valley called “Guangou Valley” from south to north, with 4 passes along the valley named “Nankou, Juyongguan, Shangguan and Badaling.” They were of great strategic importance in defending the national capital of Beijing. Juyongguan Pass is one of them.

The 20-kijometer-long valley, flanked by mountains was considered a screen of vital importance in the defense of Beijing in ancient times. Juyongguan Pass was one of the important passes along the valley, and also one of the most famous passes of the Great Wall. It was built in a gap between two mountain peaks with only one road leading to Beijing, the capital. This determined its military significance in ancient times through many dynasties, and it has been consistently valuable to military strategists through the ages.

In China’s history, the Great Wall witnessed several battles that decided the fate of several dynasties. In 1122, the Jin Court Empire (1115-1234) led the army and took Juyong Pass first. Then they marched on to Beijing and finally overthrew the Liao Dynasty (907-1125). The troops of the Ming Dynasty also first took the Pass before they attacked Beijing, the capital of the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368). Some 277 years later, the peasants’ uprising troops led by Li Zicheng did the same thing in 1644 and overthrew the Ming Dynasty. From these events, we can see the important role that Juyong Pass played in China’s history.

The name “Juyong” in Chinese means, “a place of poor laborers. According to historical records, Emperor Qin Shihuang forced many conscripts to build this part of the Great Wall. In 1992, our government made a thorough renovation of Juyong Pass and brought it back to its usual power and grandeur, and it was opened to the public. Now, it is a historical site under top state protection.

The wooden plaque, hung on the southern side of the pass, with three characters meaning “Juyongguan” was written in 1454.

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