"The Overhanging Great Wall" Jiayuguan Things to Do Tip by mke1963

Jiayuguan Things to Do: 30 reviews and 52 photos

  Theidealised wall with absurd crenellations
by mke1963
  • Theidealised wall with absurd crenellations - Jiayuguan
      Theidealised wall with absurd crenellations
    by mke1963
  • The Overhanging Great Wall - Jiayuguan

While the Great Wall ran east-west along the northern edge of the Hexi Corridor, here at Jiayuguan, a curtain wall was needed to close off the 17km wide pass. So while the fortress was being built from 1372, a wall was built up the lower slopes of the Heishan or Black Mountains, north of Jiayuguan to ensure that western invaders didn't bypass the fort this way.

The wall is described as 'overhanging' for no other reason than the fact that it goes up a hillside a few hundred metres to several watch towers. The 'overhanging' bit is all just tourist marketing hype. If you have seen the Great Wall in mountainous areas elsewhere, this is very tame.

The various fake structures, including the simply hideous Disneyland watergate, are a sad reflection of the lack of concern for authentic reconstruction, restoration or preservation here. Before anyone blames the Tourism Authority in this case, note that those charged with managing this area are, in fact, under the city's Cultural Heritage authority.

Directions: 7km north of the fortress. Take a taxi from there.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 18, 2006
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