| The Simatai section of the Great Wall, not far
from the Gubeikou section, is located at Gubeikou Town in the northeast
of Miyun County, Beijing, 120 kilometers from the city center. Its
construction started in the early Hongwu years (1368-1398) of the
Ming Dynasty. Like most sections of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall
often visited today, this section was also built under the supervision
of General Qi Jiguang.
The Simatai Great
Wall is 5.4 km long with all together 35 watchtowers. As the east
section of the Gubeikou defense line, this magnificent section features
great strategic significance. Built hundreds of years ago, the Simatai
Great Wall still retains all its original appearance. It not only
incorporates a variety of styles of other parts of the 10, 000-li-long
wall, but also displays some unique characteristics. This section
of the Great Wall is often described with the following five words:
perilous, dense, diverse, ingenuous, and peculiar.
the valley, the Simatai Great Wall is separated into two parts by
the Simatai Reservoir, over which a chain bridge runs through east
to west. Like two huge golden dragons, the two parts of the Great
Wall wind down from the east and west mountains into the reservoir,
forming a wonderful reflection of the magnificent Great Wall in the
clear blue water.
The Simatai Great
Wall, with densely-dispersed watchtowers snaking along the mountain
ridges, looks spectacular. On the hills with gentle slopes in the
west, twenty watchtowers are well preserved. However, the west part
of Simatai, where fifteen watchtowers densely cover the mountain peaks
almost one thousand meters high, appears to be more breathtaking.
The watchtowers on the Simatai Great
Wall exhibit a refined design and various structures, among which
the most celebrated are the Wangjinglou(Watching Beijing Tower),
where one can enjoy lights of Beijing at night in the distance,
and Xiannulou(Angel's Tower), which is characterized by its exquisite
structure,with no reference concerning its name origin.
Simatai Great Wall one can also find a section laid with bricks
carrying inscriptions, such as "Made by Qiangzi Camp","Made by the
left camp of Shandong in the 6th year of the Wanli reign" and "Made
by the infantry camp of suppressing enemy troops in the 6th year
of the Wanli reign". These messages not only record their origin,
but also the period of time they were written.
With its fantastic
scenery and precipitous topography, the Simatai Great Wall is a remarkable
place for sightseeing, hiking and exploration. It has been acknowledged
by the UNESCO as one of the World Cultural Heritages.
(Written by Gipsy, Photograph : Yichen & Buting)