Simatai, the place to retain complete Ming Dynasty Great Wall in original appearance


The history of the great wall building began in the Spring-autumn and Warring States Period and lasted to Ming Dynasty. The wall has been two thousand years and witnessed too many stories and legends —— the autocratic emperor pursued everlasting rule, the officers and soldiers died in the bloody battle, the masses had no means to live inside and outside the Great Wall…… in the long years, the Great Wall is an epic, war and peace is its footnote.


Compared with different dynasties Great Wall, the longest Ming Dynasty Great Wall is the best quality and takes the longest time. Ming Dynasty Great Wall is nearly 10,000 miles, from Tiger Mountain in Liaoning Province to Jiayuguan in Gansu Province. Badaling section of the great wall and Mutianyu section of the great wall are famous in Beijing, but the only one that retains the original appearance of the Ming Great Wall is Simatai Great Wall in Gubeikou Town.


Simatai Great Wall was built in the early years of the Ming Dynasty, it was strengthened by Jizhen Chief General Qi Jiguang and Governor Tan Lun, Simatai Great Wall and turned into its current scale. Simatai Great Wall is built on steep mountains and is famous for its strangeness, uniqueness and danger.


The British ‘Times’ praised it as “the top of 25 must-see scenic spots in the world”. Professor Luo Zhewen, a well-known Great Wall expert, also praised it: “The Great Wall of China is the ultimate ten manmade wonders in the world, and Simatai Great Wall is the essence of the whole Great Wall in China.”


Simatai Great Wall is 5.4 kilometers long and has 35 watchtowers. The wall is full of ups and downs, the wall connection to each watchtower is represented by a wide variety of forms. Simatai Great Wall can give a feeling of solid and steady, it is extremely rare in the whole Great Wall.


The steps beneath our feet are not level, and traces of the wind and rain are faintly visible. Damage and motley, every stairway records the war-ridden years, moreover each step people step on here seems to have a historical story.


Under the blue sky and white clouds, the warfare in those days is revealed by the weather-worn and klunky ancient Great Wall. Shining spears and armoured horses have become the past, nowadays the Great Wall has already been transformed into a tourist attraction where Chinese people will visit once in their lives. It is a symbol of the Chinese nation, a testimony to a period of history, and a legend of black brick stacking.


Throughout history, the Ming Dynasty was the longest dynasty of constructing Great Wall, and was also the dynasty of self-seclusion. There is always a feeling that the Great Wall is a protection or a guard, but it also represents a certain kind of closure and unconfidence from a sideways perspective. For thousands of years, the genuine deterrence and resistance have never been the thick wall.


For thousands of years, inside and outside the Great Wall, flames of war and smoke of gunpowder, the cracked wall is filled by glory and vicissitudes. The continuous Simatai Great Wall gives a dismal beauty in the sunset, a thousand of year, as if a moment. Looking through the beacon tower, I see the lush green mountains, difficult terrain. The klunky Great Wall mutely records the past under blue sky and white clouds.


It’s getting dark. Hidden among the trees and hills, the great wall in the twilight is full of unknown and imagination and attract people to check it out.


The lighting setups make the weather-worn great wall more tender feelings. Nearby, the lights of Beijing city are all on. There is a family behind every lamp, the lights in this city seem to be the little happiness of countless families.


Under a bright moon, the tourists wander on the well-lighted snaking Great Wall, the mysterious mountains in the dark stumble into everyone’s heart.


Did the officers and soldiers garrisoned the border town ever think China after a thousand years? There is no war, China does not require the wall to defend its towns and villages, all that’s simply the guard and contribution of ordinary people, the years have never been so fine.

Liu li

Liu li

a freelance photographer, based in Taiwan.

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