The 2nd International Conference on Advances in Civil and Ecological Engineering Research (ACEER 2020)
Field Visit---Mutianyu Great Wall
History

The Great Wall at Mutianyu was built and restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), on the remnants of a Wall originally built in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577). Reconstruction took place under the supervision of Xu Da, one of the founding generals of the Ming Dynasty, who was responsible for building a Wall from Shanhaiguan in the east to as far as Mutianyu. The Ming pass at Mutianyu was officially proclaimed in 1404, where it would serve as an important symbol of protection from marauding nomads to the north.

Reconstruction began in 1568 on 1000km of the Wall including Mutianyu. Responsibility was given to Qi Jiguang, a general who had built his credentials fighting Japanese pirates, and who took his responsibilities as a builder very seriously. Construction continued for many years, as the fortifications were built up with solid granite blocks, and included the construction of some of the larger defensive towers.

The most recent renovation of the Wall at Mutianyu took place from 1982-1986, at the direction of the Beijing government. Rather than a defensive fortification, the Mutianyu Great Wall Park has been designated a national tourist attraction, where it attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Mutianyu is a bit more rugged and slightly less crowded than the more famous Badaling. There are abundant natural springs which feed a great variety of plants and trees. Over 96% of Mutianyu is covered by trees and orchards, keeping the air fragrant with chestnut blossoms in the spring and fresh all year long.

Location

Located among the orchards and pines in the mountains to the north of Beijing, the Great Wall of China was constructed and reconstructed at Mutianyu to keep out the nomadic tribes to the north. A short 60 km trip outside of Beijing, The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu stands as a monument to both the strength and the weakness of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1627). Come learn, touch, and explore the history of a Wall built over 300 years ago, yet which remains largely intact as it snakes endlessly across the mountain ridgelines.

Nestled up against the Great Wall of China are the villages of Mutianyu, Beigou, Xinying and Tianxianyu. Founded by the original builders of the Wall, these villages have retained their wonderful unique character and are a microcosm of Chinese rural life. Real working villages, these family friendly towns offer a relaxing escape from the hustle-bustle of tourism, and the pollution of the city. Explore our site to find out more about the history and activities of the Mutianyu Great Wall area.

Located in Huairou County northeast of the Beijing urban area, the Mutianyu Great Wall crosses the mountain ridges connecting Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east. Along with nearby Huanghua Great Wall and Jiankou pass, these fortifications make up the northern barrier protecting Beijing city and the imperial mausoleums. High quality construction and unique features make this section of the Great Wall a prominent feature in the defense of the Capital and an exciting tourist destination.

Features

Built mainly from granite, the pass at Mutianyu is an appropriately unique section of the Great Wall. 7 to 8 meters high, and 4 to 5 meters high with crenellations on both sides of the Wall, the section of the Wall at Mutianyu stretches for over 2 kilometers.

Matching its military importance, the Mutianyu Great Wall has 22 watchtowers built at almost 100 meter intervals. This number of towers is much more than would be expected along the Wall, and is also highlighted by the particular form and structure unique to this section. The Zheng Guan Tai gate stands with three connected watchtowers, with the center tower rising above the flanking structures. While each tower has its own gate, the main watchtower gate is on the east side of the building, which is quite unusual.

Other unique features in this section include the ‘Tail Wall’ which stretches out perpendicular to the Wall along a ridgeline for stronger defensive positioning, and another perpendicular extension on the other side of the Wall. Invading nomads would use the ridgelines as they marched, to avoid being caught unawares in the brambles and trees below, and the positioning of the Great Wall along the ridgeline and these adjoining tail walls are recognition of the importance of this high ground.



Why Visit Mutianyu Great Wall

1) It is one of the best-preserved sections.
2) Watchtowers are densely distributed along the Great Wall.
3) Some of the watchtowers are seldom seen along other sections and quite rare in the architectural history of the Great Wall. Examples are the Zhengguan Terrace (No. 6 Watchtower) comprised of three hollow watchtowers, and Big Corner Tower (No. 1 Watchtower), named so because only one big corner can be seen from the paths in three sides.
4) The surrounding natural scenery is breath-taking. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruit in autumn, and especially in October, leaves turn red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it more magnificent.
5) About 40 miles (65km) to the north of Beijing city center, it is easy to reach from downtown area by public transport.
6) It has been renovated, making it easier and safer to climb. Moreover, it is equipped with cableway and luge, possible for children and seniors to make a visit.
7) The former British Prime Minister John Major, the former US President Bill Clinton and many other foreign leaders have visited the Mutianyu Great Wall.

The 2nd International Conference on Advances in Civil and Ecological Engineering Research (ACEER 2020)
Conference Secretary: Ms. Mengqin Chen
Email: info@aceerconf.org   Tel: +86 18911869790