Xian City Wall Night View

October 30th, 2014
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Xian after dark is a world of difference from its daytime view, transforming  from a grey and traditional Chinese cityscape into a wonderland of  colorful lights. Among other majestic things at night, Xian City Wall night view is most impressive. If planning your Xian tour, you are highly recommended to have a look at Xian City Wall at night.

The present ancient city wall of Xian was built between 1370 and 1378 in Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644) , which had been expanded from the imperial walls in Sui and Tang dynasties in the 6th century. Now it has a perimeter of 13912 meters with 12 meters in height, 18 meters  in  width at the base and 15 meters in width on the top.

Xian City Wall constitutes a total and tight city defense system in the Medieval Cold Weapons times including the Wall itself, city moat,  suspension bridges, watch towers, arrow towers, main towers, turrets and battlements on the city wall.

Xian City Wall has four gates, namely West Gate (Anding Men ), North Gate (Anyuan Men), East Gate (Changle Men) and South Gate (Yongning Men) .  Each gate comprises three buildings – outer Que Tower, mid-Arrow Tower and inner Main Tower. Between the mid-Arrow Tower and the Main Tower is the so-called Wengcheng – an walled  and fortified enclosure for besieging invading enemies.

At nightfall, the whole  city wall will be lit with bright rays and red lanterns,  a mix of grandeur and elegance. The south gate area is the most beautiful with its massive gate complex. The south wall is 3442 meters long and 15 meters wide on the top extending from the central south gate.

Having an half hour walk or take a subway line 1 from Bell Tower down to the South Gate  for a glimpse of the night view of Xian City Wall, the largest military defense system in the Medieval Times.

South Gate Opening Hours:  08:00 – 22:00
Entrance fee: RMB 40
City Wall Opening Ceremony: 9:30 daily on the square south of the South Gate ( free)
Warriors Performance: 10:30 and 16:30 inside the Wengcheng – an walled  and fortified enclosure in South Gate ( free )
Bicycle Rental:  RMB 45 / 120 minutes
Tandem: RMB 90/120 minutes
Tel: 029 – 87272792

The South Gate seen from outside the city wall

The South Gate seen from outside the city wall

The South Gate seen from outside the city wall

The south city wall and city moat

The south city wall and city moat

The south city wall and city moat

Lit turrets on the wall top

Lit turrets on the wall top

Lit turrets on the wall top

The Que Tower atop the South Gate

The Que Tower atop the South Gate

The Que Tower atop the South Gate

The Arrow Tower inside the South Gate

The Arrow Tower inside the South Gate

The Arrow Tower inside the South Gate

Hanging Lanterns on the Wall

Hanging Lanterns on the Wall

Hanging Lanterns on the Wall

South Gate Entrance Ceremony ( only held on a special occasion )

South Gate Entrance Ceremony ( only held on a special occasion )

South Gate Entrance Ceremony ( only held on a special occasion )

South Gate Entrance Ceremony ( only held on a special occasion )

South Gate Entrance Ceremony ( only held on a special occasion )

South Gate Entrance Ceremony ( only held on a special occasion )

The Arrow Tower and the city wall at South Gate

The Arrow Tower and the city wall at South Gate

The Arrow Tower and the city wall at South Gate

The mega performance inside Wengcheng – an walled  and fortified enclosure at South Gate ( only held on a special occasion)

The mega performance inside Wengcheng

The mega performance inside Wengcheng

The main tower at South Gate

The main tower at South Gate

The main tower at South Gate

On the Wall

On the Wall

On the Wall

Bike rental on the wall

Bike rental on the wall

Bike rental on the wall

Any questions, just drop a line.

Add On

Shoukoubu Fortress

October 27th, 2014
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Shoukoubu Fortress was once one of an essential fort along the Ming-era Datong Great Wall.  “Shoukoubu” literally means “Defending the Ravine Fort”.  Here there is a valley or ravine in the mountain, a mountainous corridor connecting the Inner Mongolia and Datong ( Shanxi). The ravine was an vulnerable area easy for an access by the nomad warlords in Ming Dynasty, hence the fort built in 1546 with tamed earth and later with bricks and stones in 1572.  The valley or the pass divides the wall here into the east section and west section.

A stream is winding through the ravine from north to south and the fort is located just on the west of the stream. Today the same name village – Shoukoubu Village is within the dilapidated castle. Parts of the ramparts around the fort are still visible.

The whole fortress or the local village is perched on the west valley surrounded by mountains almost  in  three sides.  We have to give up the idea of taking sunset or sunrise pictures due to the high mountains blocking the sun and.

On the west section of the Wall on the steep hillside, the rammed wall feels hard and firm, going up along the rugged mountain. Eroded by the rain and blasted by rain, the wall appears like undulating saw-teeth perched on the steep slope.

Standing on the west side of the valley with the section of the hard yellow earth wall running down to the bottom of the valley, have a panorama of the fortress ( or the village), the wall broken at the mouth of the valley and the east section of the Wall, better understanding the name of the fortress – Shoukoubu ( Defending the valley Castle ).

Looking at the east direction, you will see the guide-towers and beacon-towers are scattered around the mountain in the east side in a far distant mist with the backdrop of the autumn apricot trees and the courtyards in the village.

Here you can find some round beacon towers perched on the west slopes of the mountain rarely seen in Beijing.
Shoukoubu Village is perched  the west side of the stream in the valley.

Shoukoubu Village is perched  the west side of the stream in the valley.

Shoukoubu Village is perched the west side of the stream in the valley.

Small bits of the original ramparts can still be seen in the northeast corner of the village.

Small bits of the original ramparts

Small bits of the original ramparts

The east and west sections of the Wall guided the ravine or the valley, an easy access linking the Inner Mongolia in the north and Datong in  the south.  By the south of the wall is the former old Shoukoubu Fortress.

The east and west sections of the Wall guided the ravine or the valley

The east and west sections of the rammed earth Wall guided the ravine or the valley

If you stand on the high hillside of the west of the valley, you can have a clear picture of the village and the east section of the earth wall.

a clear picture of the village and the east section of the earth wall.

a clear picture of the village and the east section of the earth wall.

The west section of the earth wall winds steeply down to the valley from the hill.

The west section of the earth wall

The west section of the earth wall

 

A close look at the west section of the earth wall.

A close look at the west section of the earth wall

A close look at the west section of the earth wall

The round beacon towers seldom seen in Beijing are quite popular along the earth wall in Datong. You see the two high round earth beacon towers atop the hills looming over the castle and village.

The round beacon towers

The round beacon towers

The beautiful autumn view of the east section of the earth Great Wall.

The beautiful autumn view of the east section of the earth Great Wal

The beautiful autumn view of the east section of the earth Great Wall

A lonely beacon tower stands on the hill near the east section of the earth wall.

A lonely beacon tower stands on the hill

A lonely beacon tower stands on the hill

A  broken rampart with the autumn hues

A  broken rampart with the autumn hues

A broken rampart with the autumn hues

Any questions, just drop a line.

Zhenbianbu Fortress

October 26th, 2014
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Zhenbianbu Fortress was one of the five most important forts along Datong Outer Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty ( 1368-1644). The fort was originally built with earth walls in 1539 during the reign of Jiajing Emperor in Ming Dynasty. In 1583 the earth walls surrounding Zhenbianbu Fortress was reconstructed with bricks and stones.

The walled garrison city is  rectangle in shape, 312 meters long from north to south and 312 meters wide from east to west with a perimeter of 1054 meters. The wall is generally 5 meters high and 3.3 meters wide on the wall top.

The exterior bricks and stones on the city wall have almost been taken away by the local villagers for building their houses. Today the same name village – Zhenbian Village is located inside the fort.  There are over 3 hundred  households with over 1000 villages.

The north city wall of the fort is now better preserved than other three sides. Many of the walls have collapsed or vanished. Recently the local tourism administration has invested in the restoration of the old fortress, attracting tourists to come here in a hope for developing the village economy and upgrading the life quality her. So it is better to visit here at an early date before the old for become too touristy.

The east city wall of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The east city wall of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The east city wall of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The wall at the northeast corner of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The wall at the northeast corner of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The wall at the northeast corner of Zhenbianbu Fortress

Standing on the east city wall and taking a picture of the village area along inside and outside the Wall

Standing on the east city wall

Standing on the east city wall

The dilapidated east gate coated with bricks and stones.

The dilapidated east gate coated with bricks and stones.

The dilapidated east gate coated with bricks and stones.

Autumn is the harvest time. We see the local villagers are busy doing their far word, threshing millet,corns and more.  The couple are threshing millet.

 The couple are threshing millet.

The couple are threshing millet.

One village’s family house

One village's house

One village’s house

Chatting with the local villagers

Chatting with the local villagers

Chatting with the local villagers

Threshing millet

Threshing millet

Threshing millet

Any question, just drop a line.