Huangyaguan Great Wall runs on the ridge of mountains to the north of Ji County, Tianjin. Part of the cultural heritage of the world, it was initially built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577) and later renovated and lengthened in Sui Dynasty (581-618) and again during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The ancient Great Wall of this section had a length of 42 kilometers (about 26 miles), but it suffered extensive damage throughout its long history. In 1987, it was repaired and began to receive tourists.
The Huangyaguan Great Wall possesses many features including antiquity, grandness, steepness and gracefulness, and it is regarded as an 'Impregnable Pass' in Tianjin. This section is the longest restored section of the Great Wall with a length of 3052 meters (about 3337 yards). In 1990 it was named one of the top scenic places in a list of the ten most appealing sceneries to visit in Tianjin.
The Huangyaguan Great Wall has two sections: Huangyaguan and Taipingzhai.
Guancheng (Pass City) is the center of the Huangyaguan section. Guancheng was itself a perfect defensive project and it is also where Bagua Village (The Eight Diagrams Village) is situated. Bagua Village was built in the Ming Dynasty according to the Eight Diagrams created by Fuxi (an ancient tribal leader). It is easy enough to get in, but getting out is another matter as you can easily find yourself in a dead end or just circling around with no obvious way out. It's certainly amazing enough to encourage tourists to have a try!
Taipingzhai is located to the southeast of Huangyaguan. Guafu Tower (Widow Tower) is seated in the west of it. Guafu Tower is a square watchtower. It was said that during the Ming Dynasty 12 widows of frontier soldiers donated their pension and built this tower. People named it Widow Tower as a memorial to these women and their spirit.
In the reparation during the 1980s, more tourist sites were built at the foot of the Huangyaguan Great Wall in Bagua Village, including Huangyaguan Great Wall Museum and the Stele Forest. Huangyaguan Great Wall Museum is the first Great Wall museum in China. In the showroom, tourists can learn about the historical development of the Great Wall. Also, the arms and everyday ware of Qi Jiguang (a general in Ming Dynasty and also a national hero) and his soldiers are displayed. The Stele Forest is the biggest in northern China. Stele inscriptions show the calligraphy of Chairman Mao, some generals of New China and modern calligraphers.
Since 2000, Huangyaguan holds its annual marathon race. More than 1400 people from over 30 countries enthusiastically take part in this race every year. It greatly enhances the reputation of the Huangyaguan Great Wall as an indispensable section of this national monument. Every year the Huangyaguan Great Wall receives more and more tourists from all over the world.
Admission fee: 40 yuan
Opening hours: 08:00 to 16:00
(travelchinaguide.com July 25, 2007)