Pianguan Pass & Pingxingguan Pass of Great Wall

After saying Goodbye to Yalu River in Liaoning Province, the Great Wall finally arrived at the bank of Yellow River after countless hardships and hazards. Pianguan Pass witnesses the first time that the Great Wall meets the Yellow River. Located in Pianguan County, Shanxi Province, Pianguan Pass joins the Guancen Mountain in the east, faces Yellow River in the west, connects Inner Mongolia in the north and links Yanmen Pass and Ningwu Pass in the south.

Together with Ningwu Pass and Yanmen Pass, it is one of the three outer passes of the Great Wall. Baiyang Mountain, the east part of the Great Wall under the jurisdiction of the Pianguan Pass is the point of juncture of the inner and outer sides of the Great Wall.

The Great Wall we see today was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) after repeated repairs and extensions. The pass is 1.6 miles in circumference and 38.4-feet high. There are three gates in the east, west and south sides originally. But due to many years of dismantling from the 1940's, only left the south brick arched gate and a 32.8-yard brick wall in the west of the pass remain today.

The Laoniu River Bend (The Old Ox River Bend) is the area where the Great Wall meets the Yellow River. There is a well-preserved hollow brick tower standing on the cliff and looks out onto the Yellow River. It is a famous sight in Pianguan Pass.

Pingxingguan Pass

Located at Pingxing Mountain in Shaanxi, Pingxingguan Pass occupies a strategically important position with Hengshan Mountain standing loftily to the north and Wutai Mountain to the south. The pass is nearly one kilometer wide. The entrance gate is a little over thirteen feet high and about nine feet wide. Sadly, the gatetower is in ruins and the entire pass has suffered much erosion over the years.

Mention of the Pingxingguan Pass immediately recalls the famous battle "Pingxingguan Pass Victory" that took place on September 25, 1937. In this fierce battle, the Chinese Eighth Route Army defeated a force of Japanese invaders. It is regarded as one of the key battles of the Sino-Japanese wars.

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