Sections of the Great Wall that date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), located north of Beijing, are the best-preserved sites among all Great Wall sites in China.
The main purpose of these walls was to defend the capital of the Ming Dynasty. These walls are the most complete, complex and aesthetically appealing among all sections of the Great Wall, since the Ming was the last dynasty to construct the this form of fortification.
The Ming Dynasty Great Wall is mainly built of bricks and lime mortar, with rectangular stone slabs as the foundation, while most of the Great Wall built before the Ming Dynasty was made up of simpler and weaker structures like bamboo fences, rammed earth or stone walls without mortar. The Ming Great Wall in Beijing is the most famous and attracts the most tourists among all Great Wall sections in China.
The walls’ relatively complex and solid structure not only makes them look more orderly, but also significantly less likely to collapse, ensuring safety for visitors.
Famous Ming Great Wall sections in Beijing include Badaling, Juyongguan (Juyong Pass), Mutianyu, and Simatai. Among them, Badaling was the first Ming Dynasty Great Wall section to open to tourists and has always been the most-visited section of the Great Wall in China. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is about 5,400 meters long, the longest single continuous section of the Great Wall. These two sections of the wall have been combined as one of the top-rated tourist attractions in China.
The Juyongguan (Juyong Pass) is an ancient mountain pass that used to be an important pathway to the northwest nomadic regions of several different dynasties of ancient China.The defense system of Juyongguan covers an area of more than 60 hectares.
It is flanked by high mountains and a river runs through the middle.The most famous scenic spot of Juyongguan is the “Cloud Platform”, which was originally the base for three white pagodas, with a passage connecting them. The platform is renowned for its Buddhist relief carvings and carved Buddhist inscriptions written in six languages.