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Nine Dragon Screen

the beautiful nine-dragon wallThe Nine Dragon Screen in Datong, Shanxi Province, is said to be the largest screen of its type anywhere in China. It is 45.5 meters (150 feet) long, 8 meters (26 feet) high, 2.09 meters wide and 2.02 (6.6 feet) meters thick and consists of 426 pieces of glazed tiles. The roof is also covered with glazed tiles.

As the existing famous nine-dragon screen walls in China, the Datong Nine Dragon Screen is by far the oldest, biggest and most artistic. It was originally used for guarding the gate of the mansion of Prince Zhu Gui, the 13th son of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The screen is still remains intact today. It is over 350 years older and three times larger than the one in Beihai Park in Beijing.

According to the Chinese superstition, ghosts and devils can only travel in straight lines, so screen walls are usually placed before residency gates in order to block their paths. Nine Dragon Screen, the 2.09-meter-thick screen wall and the glaring dragons can no doubt make their penetration difficult.

Nine Dragon Screen itself is inlayed with components of yellow, green, blue, purple, black and white glaze. On the wall, nine dragons are swirling vividly amid yellow clouds, blue mists, surfing waves and mountain cliffs. Of the nine, the central one, with its bright eyes staring firmly into the distance, seems the most dignified and imposing. On each side of the central dragon is a pair of light yellow dragons with their heads pointed East and tails pointed towards the central dragon. A second pair of elegant yellow dragons is next with their heads and tails pointed west. A third pair is ferocious-looking purple dragons which seem to be the dragons on the nine-dragon wallwrestling with the sea. The fourth pair is highly spirited dragons. The nine dragons are life-like and illustrating their ability of calling the wind and controlling the rainfall. The areas around the dragons are supplemented with images of plants, mountains, stones, water and grass. These patterns along with the nine dragons compliment each other. On seeing this, you may be amazed by the high carving craftsmanship of the ancient Chinese people.


Nine Dragon Screen Tour

As the oldest, biggest and most artistic one, during the tour to Datong, tourists should not miss Nine Dragon Screen - this world famous attraction!

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