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Unique Structure of Great Wall

The Nine-eye Tower is located in south of Heituo mountain, 21 kilometers northwest of Chengguan town Huairou District, in the north of Beijing. Located in Huairou county and Yanqing county at the junction of the flame mountain top. Because the 9 arrow windows are built on each side of the watchtowers, hence the name. Because of high and steep mountains, during sunny day visitors can see Beijing City, it is also known as the Wangjing Tower. The Nine-eye Tower is one of the most important structures on Great Wall, which sits 1141 meters above sea level.

Nine-eye Tower of Great Wall

The current building houses rooms and other remains, the racecourse, horse field, camp (camp city) remains. On the north side of the tower sits a stone stele left by the Ming Dynasty official Xu Shen in 13th year of Wanli reign (1585). Nearby the lush vegetation can be found all over the place, as well as wild animal like roe deer, goat, pheasant, hare, squirrels, etc.

According to "Beijing City Yanqing County gazetteer records": "the nine-eye tower was built during the Ming Jiajing reign (1543 AD) by Wang Yijian, the middle built with Red Gate. Nine-eye Tower sits on the side wall of the Sihai Xiang Shi Yao Cun, South of Flaming Mountains, very close to the Juyongguan section." This record tells us, Nine-eye Tower dates back more than 450 years ago. It also tells us, the tower had much military significance back in the day. Nine-eye Tower is two-tier architecture, with nine observation holes built on the tower. Now only one floor is left, the height is 7.8 meters, each side 13 meters, the observation hole is 1.65 meters high, 0.5 meters wide, the inner loop trail 1.2 meters wide. Nine-eye Tower is built with stone, with the upper part built with lime stone and blue bricks, strong and beautiful. Downstairs there on the west side of the small platform, Sergeant centralized site. Platform on the north side is built with the brick stairs, offering steps up along the floor of the South gate. Roof is arch structure, which can provide rooms for soldiers and weapons. North are two windows, each surrounded by a door, the door is two meters high, 1.2 meters wide, access very convenient.

Nine-eye Tower is not only the biggest watch tower on the Great Wall, but also is of great strategic significance in military defense.

Typical Overhanging Great Wall

For the famous Mutianyu Great Wall and Badaling Great Wall, almost every tourist could speak out the characters and their appearances. For the Great Wall located in the Chinese suburb areas, they also store many features and mysteries.

Overhanging Great Wall in China

Background of Overhanging Great Wall
Located not far away from Jiayuguan City in Gansu Province, Overhanging Great Wall plays a very important role as an important part of the defense work of Jiayuguan Pass. Built in the year of 1539 during the Ming Dynasty, Overhanging Great Wall was built to strengthen the defensive capability of Jiayuguan area. It was built on the slope of Black Mountain, so it is not visible to anyone looking from west to east. During the ancient times, all the enemies always think they could enter into the inner area of China from this place, the Heishan Canyon, as long as they rounded the Jiayuguan Pass. However, finally, they always made mistake. After that, when the wars comes, the enemies always went over the mountain to find the entrance but failed. It is truly difficult to find out the entrance. After researching out the Overhanging Great Wall, because it is too firm, it was very hard to cross or pass through. Since that time, Overhanging Great Wall was regarded as a natural barrier.

Typical Layout of Overhanging Great Wall
Having an overview, from a distance, Overhanging Great Wall showed like a dragon overhanging the mountain, hence the name. The main materials of this Great Wall sections is the local gravel and the yellow earth. They were built layer by layer composed by the main path, battlements and three observation posts. In the original time, Overhanging Great Wall measured about 0.9 miles long. But, later because of the natural disasters and the human destruction, only 820 yards of the wall remains, with 253 yards climbing onto the north slope of Black Mountain. The imposing appearance and the manner are very much like those of Badaling Great Wall in Beijing. So, it got another name as the western Badaling Great Wall. Wandering along Overhanging Great Wall, tourists could start from the foot of Black Mountain to reach the top. Because the steps here are very steep, the weaker tourists exploring here should pay much attention. Standing at the top point appreciating the sceneries surrounded, tourists are always impressed by the boundless desert extending to faraway places.

With the oasis dropped in, the sightseeing here is truly amazing and fantastic!

How the Great Wall Functions for Defense

Back in ancient times, the Great Wall played an important role in defending the capital city. Specifically, the function of the Great Wall mainly lies in: on one hand, the Great Wall served as efficient defense toward the attackers, one the other hand, it bluffed the attackers with its magnificence and grandeur.

Great Wall of China

The reason why the Great Wall could carry out efficient defense is because it was built mainly to stop the Mongolian rivalry. The Mongolian rivalry was very good at blitz attack, which means they are very quick while carrying out military operations, compared with the inland army mainly made of infantry. It would be extremely difficult to defend the Mongolian rivalry without the Great Wall as fortification. The fact had been seen as early as the Han Dynasty, when the famous official Chaocuo offered his advice in his letter to the emperor. The main idea of the letter says that the Mongolian army was very quick to attack and retreat from the border, and if no army sent over there to defend them, the border residences would be disappointed in the jurisdiction of Han government; if the army was sent over there, but the Mongolian army was nowhere to be seen. So he strongly suggested that the best way to defend the Mongolian attackers would be to build the Great Wall. About 1,000 years later, the famous general Qi Jiguang also commented that the most effective way to defend the Mongolian rivalry would be to build a defensive system made of the Great Wall, therefore the Mongolian rivalry would be blocked outside the wall and could not fully make the most use of their advantage.

The rivalry is very aggressive when engaged in battles. When the rivalry attacks, the infantry stands little chance of winning a battle, just the infantry of today facing the tanks. However, the construction of the Great Wall changed everything. According to records, back in West Han Dynasty, the Mongolian army had attempted to attack the Great Wall for many times, but ended up with failure. The main reason was because back then the Han Dynasty had built an advanced defensive system based on the Great Wall and there were plenty of defensive facilities built on the wall, like the beacon towers, watch towers and crenels as well as passes.

On the other hand, the magnificent Great Wall also caused some inferiority in the mind of the attackers. There are many records left to indicate the attack from the Mongolian tribes became less and less during some certain dynasties.

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