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Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall is the most impressive and the most visited section of the Great Wall of China. Constructed in 1502 during the Ming Dynasty, the Badaling Great Wall once served as an important military fortification. Many leaders from China and around the world, like Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher…all visited this section of the wall. In 1987, it was listed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO.It is located in Yanqing County, about 70 kilometers from the downtown area of Beijing. As Badaling was once an important military strategy point, here the wall is comparatively high and firm. It has a length of 3,741 meters and it is equipped with dense watchtowers. The wall is about 8.5 meters high and slopes inward as it rises in height. The wall is 6.5 meters wide at its base, and its rim spans about 5.7 meters across. The wall's exterior is composed of large granite slabs that surround layers of loess and gravel. Its coping is made of large bricks that provide a smooth walkway, wide enough for ten people to easily walk side by side. A parapet on the coping once provided a defense barrier against assailants. Badaling Great Wall is situated about 10km further north of Juyongguan Great Wall. They are both sited on the same natural pass through the mountains to the north of Beijing and hence a critical point of defense. Crenellated battlements decorate the parapet's exterior. In the battlement, there are square holes, from which soldiers had an outlook and shot at the enemy. Two-storey castles lie approximately every 400 meters on the wall. The castle's second floor gave soldiers an additional advantage over attackers; the arched cavity below was used to store artillery and also doubled as a simple dormitory for the watchmen. A number of high beacon towers were built so that when the enemies invaded, signals could be sent out to call for reinforcement. The Badaling Great Wall has not served as a military fortification since the Qing Dynasty. Having been carefully restored in 1957, Badaling Great Wall was the first section of the Great Wall to open to tourists officially. A Great Wall Museum has been established near to the wall. More than 100 million visitors have climbed Badaling Great Wall. A Chinese proverb goes like this: “One who has never been to the Great Wall is not a real man.” Badaling Great Wall offers an interesting climb and great views, although it can also be the most crowed. The newly completed Badaling Expressway provides a fast and direct route to Badaling from Beijing. It only takes 65 minutes to Badaling Great Wall from Beijing. Travelers can go to the Badaling Great Wall by taking coach or bus 919 from Deshengmen (a little east of Jishuitan subway station). It costs only 12 yuan each way. Please remember that the last return coach is about 16:30pm 
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