Jiaoshan Great Wall

Jiaoshan Great Wall is located about 3 km (1.9 miles) from Shanhaiguan ancient city. It is named after Jiaoshan Mountain, which is the highest peak to the north of Shanhaiguan Pass and also the first mountain the Great Wall climbs up after Shanhaiguan Pass. Therefore the mountain is noted as "The first mountain of the Great Wall".

The repaired section of Jiaoshan Great Wall starts from No.10 watch tower at Hanmen Pass and ends at No.3 watch tower at Jiaoshan Mountain via Hanmen Pass, and No.1 and No.2 watch towers. The gate of the wall is an imitation of the construction style of fortresses in the Ming Dynasty. Its appearance is very much like Chinese character "?". Measuring about 1.5 km (0.9 miles), the whole journey is a 40-minute walk. The wall was built by using local materials. It was laid mostly of free stones, as well as bricks and rectangle stones. On average, it measures 7 to 10 meters (23 to 33 feet) tall and 4 to 5 meters (4.4 to 5.5 yards) wide, and occupies a place of strategic importance. In the steepest part, it is only about 2.7 meters (3 yards) wide. The external side of the wall is precipitous and difficult to attack, while the internal side is low and convenient for climbing and fighting.

To explore the real Jiaoshan Ancient Wall, visitors have to climb over a wall cemented to No.3 watch tower of the repaired section. Unlike the newly restored wall, the ancient wall provides you a sense of historical vicissitude. Walking on the dilapidated wall is a great challenge. The wall appears more and more crumbled and deformed as you forge ahead. In some sections, the wall is only built on one side, with the other side being the deep cliffs. In some sections, the mountain ridge is functioned as the wall, which is called by experts "mountain-supported wall".

Watch your steps when you enter this zone. Look out to the southeast, and you will see a watch tower standing at the top of a lonely hill. It is Zhenlu Platform (translated as "Suppress Enemies Platform"). Gaze to the northwest, and you can find Qixian Temple dimly hidden in the thick forest. It is the place where Xiao Xian studied. (Xiao Xian was a noted calligrapher in Ming Dynasty who inscribed for the plaque "The First Pass under Heaven" in Shanhaiguan Pass).

After a one-hour's difficult climb, you will arrive at Dapingding Peak, the main peak of Jiaoshan Mountain. Stand on the top and look west, you can see the full extent of Yansai Lake, and watch northeast, you will get a panoramic view of Changshou (Longevity) Mountain Scenic Area. To the south, you can see the full shot of Jiaoshan Great Wall and Shanhaiguan City, if weather permits, Laolongtou and Bohai Sea can also be vividly recognized afar.

Jiaoshan Ancient Wall turns east from Dapingding Peak. It first noses down the eastern slope of Dapingding Peak, climbs over Liumianding Mountain and then arrives at Sandaoguan Pass which is actually a twin watch tower. The travel from Dapingding Peak to Sandaoguan Pass takes about one hour, and also, it is a thorny track which is difficult to reach. You will have entered Changshou Mountain Scenic Area from Jiaoshan Great Wall at the end of this trekking.

Historical Background

Built during the rule of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Jiaoshan Great Wall was the boundary between Liaodong Prefecture (today Yalu River to Shanhaiguan Pass) and Jizhen Prefecture (today Shanhaiguan Pass to Juyongguan Pass). There were five watch stations and fighting platforms. At present, Jiaoshan Great Wall has been developed into a beautiful scenic area combining Great Wall, mountains, Shanhaiguan City and temples.

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