Taipingzhai Great Wall

Six miles southeast of Huangya Pass in Tianjin is the Taipingzhai Great Wall, another important mountain stronghold of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It is also called Taipinganzhai, meaning "a village of peace and prosperity". Starting from Banlagang Mountain in the east and arriving at Guafu Tower (Widow Tower) in the west, it winds through the precipitous mountains for about 955 yards.

The Taipingzhai Great Wall is an important component of Huangya Pass of Great Wall. There are six watch towers, one battlement, and one shortcut leading to the wall. The architectural styles of the military towers vary considerably. There are square, round, solid and hollow towers, with some inside and others outside the wall. Beside the shortcut, there is a small citadel where an 8.5-meter statue of Qi Jiguang, the chief commanding officer of Ji Garrison (one of the eleven garrisons in the Ming Dynasty) is located. The local people built this statue in order to commemorate his great contribution to frontier peace and stability in that period. To the west of the citadel, a section of the wall extends 33 yards out to where a sentry post was situated.

At the western end of the Taipingzhai Great Wall is a square stone tower called Guafu Tower, "Widow Tower" in English, built by twelve wives whose husbands died during the construction of the wall in the Ming Dynasty. The widows erected this tower to commemorate their husbands' notable exploits. The tower has two levels and measures 13-meters (14-yards) high. Arched arrow windows are on the four sides of the tower.

Besides these cultural points of interest, Taipingzhai Great Wall is also famous for its amazingly impressive scenery. Zigzagging along the mountain ridge for over 984 yards, the wall looks very much like a giant dragon flying through clouds.

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