The Great Wall (Badaling)
The Great Wall at Badaling is located in Yanqing County, which is about 60 kilometers northwest of Beijing. It is widely known as the most representative section of the “Great Wall” from the Ming Dynasty. Well laid out with huge uniform bricks, the wall was built on the ridges of the mountains. Various beacon towers were erected at strategic points along the wall. Badaling is a place of strategic importance and its wall is high and sturdy. With its many beacon towers, the wall looks magnificent and best epitomizes traditional Chinese architecture.
Sitting at the highest point of the strategic pass leading to Beijing from the northwest, The Great Wall at Badaling consists of the main wall and several subordinate walls. It is flanked by steep mountains and popularly known as the “key to the northern gate”. Now 3741 meters of the Great Wall at Badaling and 21 beacon towers are open to visitors.
The Great Wall at Badaling was listed in the first group of major historic sites under state protection in 1961. In 1987 it was included in the "World Heritage List ". In 1991 the Great Wall at Badaling, as a representative of the Chinese “Great Wall”, was listed in the "World Heritage Certificate" by the United States. In the same year it was selected as the best of the 40 best Chinese scenic spots. In 2001, it was among the first scenic spots to be awarded with a 4A rank and in 2002 it again represented the “Great Wall” to receive a Guinness World Record issued by the Guinness Headquarters in U.K..
The Great Wall at Badaling is a world-renowned scenic spot, and also an important place for receiving foreign guests, the vistor numbers have by now surpassed 130 million. More than 420 foreign leaders and heads of state, including Nixon, Reagan, Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, Mrs. Thatcher, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin have at various times climbed the wall.
Today, holding more than 30 both domestic and international cultural and sports activities every year, the Great Wall at Badaling has become an embodiment of the peace and friendship among the peoples. An International New-Year Climbing activity has been held for 9 years consecutively now, and has become one of the 8 world-famous New-Year outdoor activities. The Great Wall has also hosted such events as Pele’s soccer show, a concert by Japanese solo singer Saijo Hideki, magician Robert Gallup’s great escape and a second visit by Steven Hawking; the CCTV’s popular program “The Same Song” once held a major concert named “Witnessed by the Great Wall, Long Live the Love” on the wall…With their clear themes, these various brand-new activities are being watched by people all around the worl.