Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Juyongguan

居庸关

The Juyongguan section of the Great Wall is in Changping District, about 60 km from Beijing. Recently renovated, this section lacks the authenticity of other parts of the Great Wall, but still makes for an interesting day out.



Connected with Badaling in the north, the main feature is the heavily fortified Juyongguan Pass, which was one of the three great passes of the Great Wall (the other two were Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan). The Juyongguan Pass has long acted as a military stronghold, serving as a natural barrier to invaders from the north.



The Juyongguan Great Wall comes down to the level of the parking lot in two locations, so no climbing or cable car is needed. Near the center of Juyongguan is a marble structure known as the Cloud Terrace, or Yuntai. This is a rare survivor from the Yuan Dynasty and was built in 1365. Among its exquisite carvings are a Dharani Sutra in six different languages: Chinese, Mongolian, Sanskrit, Tangut, Tibetan, and Uyghur.




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