| The Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.
Located about eight kilometers (five miles) southeast of the Bakeshiying Township in Luanping County in Hebei Province, the Jinshanling Great Wall is the best preserved part of the Great Wall with many original features.
The Jinshanling Great Wall is situated on the Big and Small Jinshanling, hence its name. Based on huge stone bars, the Great Wall was then made by huge bricks, each of which weighed about 12 kilograms (26 pounds). It has five main passes and 67 watchtowers. Every 100 meters (328 feet), there is an enemy tower each of which is about ten meters (33 feet) high. Featuring various structures and having various functions, those watchtowers are either one tiered or two-tiered. On the first floor there are some windows for shooting arrows. The roofs of the towers are many and varied, flat, arched, quadrangular or octagonal. Some are used to store weapons and hay. Others are used as soldiers' bedrooms. Among them, the most celebrated are the Big and Small Jinshan Watchtowers.
The big Jinshan Watchtower has two tiers which are connected by stone stairs. On the top of the tower is a small room used as the soldiers' retiring room. This small room has a unique structure. The rafters and eaves of the room are all made from polished bricks. The Small Jinshan Watchtower was constructed by soldiers from Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces led by Qi Jiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). To remind themselves of their hometowns, the tower was named Jinshan which was a pavilion's name in the Jiangxin Island in Zhanjiang.
(Photograph : Yan Xinqiang)