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Iconic Structure of the Great Wall - Duokou

Hailed as one of the most magnificent engineering feats in the world, the Great Wall features a wide variety of sophisticated structures. One of the most recognizable is the crenels spreading all over the wall. The crenel refers to the opening on the wall, built outside the wall for defense and attack. The crenel features a saw-shape and short. Those who do not know about the crenels on the wall call them Chnegchi, just because they look like some well arranged teeth on the wall.

Duokou on Great Wall

The crenel is about 80cm in height and 200cm in width. Underneath the crenel there is usually a watching hole or Leishi hole or shooting hole. The top of the crenel is designed with a triangle shape to prevent rain erosion. The crenels play an important role in the defensive system of the Great Wall. As a part of the Great Wall, they are used for both defense and attack. When the enemies attack the wall, the defensive soldiers can shoot arrows to defense themselves beside the crenels from a high point. In terms of defense, the soldiers can hide behind the crenels in case they are exposed to the arrows from the enemies.

The crenels are referred to in the documents left by QiJiguang - a very famous supervisor of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall - who mentioned all sections of the wall should be equipped with crenels.

Crenels at Jizhen section are kind of different from the other sections of the wall. They are built with sharp bricks shaped as triangle. The triangle-shaped bricks are used to build the Great Wall to ensure no matter what angle the soldiers look out, the angle is about 45 degrees. This design highly widens the viewing and attacking range. Moreover, the enemies look from below, the angle is still the same. In this way, the defense of the Great Wall is greatly enhanced to ensure the defense soldiers are at lower risk of being shot by the arrows. The crenels can be traced back to early Qing dynasty, back then, it was named as Zhidie, meaning the teeth-shaped short wall. Different from the Ming Dynasty wall, the crenels were referred as the wall itself in ancient times of China.

To sum it up, the crenels are an integrated part of the Great Wall.

Iconic Structure of the Great Wall - Madao

The tall watchtower, the forts and crenels all make the city wall invulnerable. During the cold weapon era, the capital fortification is state of the art. In the defense system, Madao is an indispensable facility. Ma Dao connects with city people, the soldiers and plays a key role in the defense of the Great Wall. When the war is ceased or during the war, Madao is very important. The 40's of the last century, Beijing old city wall also used Ma Dao as the basic integrity. The main function of Madao is to transport soldiers, food and weapons. Built close to the wall (tower), providing easy access to the top of the wall, Ma Dao is often designed with a Chinese eight, with width of about a few meters, brick paved, set up outside the parapet.

Madao of the Great Wall

The construction of the city, in addition to the gate towers and turrets, Madaos are evenly distributed on the wall. The Madao on the wall, according to the distance and defense, is designed with two floor high, providing traffic, transport and troop movements. For example, the Yaowang Miao Jie (later renamed the Old Drum Tower Street) north and Lama Temple Street are equipped with Madao. The streets are the original metropolitan city street. Meanwhile, because of the delivery of goods and troops in war, it gradually formed a new street in the vicinity. Later the city has formed a new street intersection, known as the "Xinjiekou". Street north city wall is provided with a pair of Madao.

Madao is usually built in vertical high slope and concerns a series of construction process, its main function is to ensure the slope stability (general slope above about 10m, as the case may be) and the main function is to provide traffic and personnel and small equipment transportation. Madao, if you literally interpret, can fit this explanation, first of all, it is a channel or a shape similar to the channel, which is different from the highway road, it should be narrow and the shape should not be too complicated, this means Ma Dao in general has to be in line with construction rules, linear or circular, but not wide. With width generally only 1~2m, 3~4m is relatively too wide. All in all, Madao is the essence of the Great Wall in terms of the engineering art of China.

What is Horse-face of the Great Wall

The Horse-face is a kind structure built as part of the city wall. The Horse-face cannot be found on the early Ming Dynasty city wall of Nanjing and the capital city wall of Fengyang. However, according to the Nanjing city wall construction inspection, the plane was irregular in shape, the wall between the both sides played the role of the horse-face, so there was no need to build a horse-face there. This shows that the ancients is not in the design of building walls just to follow the beaten track, traditional custom, but suit one's measures to local conditions to build a variety of city wall facilities. Ming Emperor Zhu Di moved the capital to Beijing and started to build "horse-face" on the city wall. During 32th year of Jiajing reign (1553 AD) when the south city was built, there were 172 horse-faces built on the wall. There were two sizes, with distance of 60~100 meters, according to estimation it is built to fit different range weapons. The city is more important in the strategic defense of the Ming Dynasty. During Zhu Shuang reign, Xian City had 98 horse-faces, 20 meters wide, 12 meters long, rectangular shape. Outside of the wall is provided with a horse-face wall, the left and right sides of the wall opened a crenel, it is easy to throw stone, shoot the arrow, to stop the enemy attack.

Great Wall

The horse-face structure is not positive wall crenellation, about two higher than the wall foot, can prevent the city under the vector bomb wounding. The distance between the horse-faces is 120 meters, perfect for shooting the ancient arrow, crossbows, throwing stones, such as throwing weapons with effective range, thus outside the main wall, the high dense crossfire network was formed to improve the defense function. Coastal city such as Jiangsu, Nantong City, there are also horse-face structures built. In order to enhance the ability of defense, on the horse-face generally the watchtowers are built, which can be used for soldiers for outlook, and store weapons - the defensive performance enhanced to the highest point. Xian city wall features double eaves and two watchtowers, showing the military defense. During wartime it can be used as defense to observe the enemy's situation, to prevent the enemy attacking from below.

Overall, the horse-face structure is an important part of the defense system of the Great Wall.

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