The Gubeikou Great Wall has never been reconstructed. Hence, it is somewhat dilapidated but retains its original beauty. It is difficult to access. Many battles were fought here throughout the Chinese history due to its strategic location. Even if they are quite broken, the crawling wall and tough watchtowers will remind you of their past glory.
Basic Facts of Gubeikou Great Wall
1. This section was originally named "Beikou", which literally means "Northern Pass", during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) since it is the northern defensive line of Youzhou (today's Beijing). "Gu" (ancient) was only added by later generations.
2. Stretching for about 25 miles (40 kilometers), there are 172 watchtowers, 14 beacon towers, 16 passes, 3 water passes, 3 barbicans, and 6 fortresses along it.
3. In the broad sense, it is comprised of four sections: Wohushan, Panlongshan, Jinshanling, and Simatai. But in the narrow sense and to visitors, it is composed of Wohushan and Panlongshan.
"Wohushan" literally means a mountain resembling crouching tigers, for it looks like two tigers: one lying on its back and the other on its stomach. The Wohushan Section features the unique "Sister Towers". The Elder Sister Tower to the north is higher than the Younger Sister Tower to the south. Seen from afar, they are like two pretty ladies hand in hand. The Sister Towers were used to station troops,store weapons and foodstuffs during the wartime. It is quite rare as they are so close to each other.
The Panlongshan Section features the General Tower and 24-window Tower:
The two-storey General Tower was the commanding office. It is square in shape, with a side length of about 11 yards (10 meters) and a door on each side. There are four windows on the eastern and western sides respectively, and three windows on the northern and southern sides. The tower is pretty symmetrical. However, the crenels on the top were seriously damaged during the war. Hence, the top has been exposed to the substance ever since.
The 24-window Tower is the last watch-tower at Panlongshan Section. It has three storeys, which is unique. There are three windows on each side on the first and second storey and teeth-shaped crenels on the third storey. The 24-window Tower worked in concert with the General Tower during the wartime. However, the northwestern side of the tower has now collapsed, leaving behind the eastern and southwestern walls standing firm and still.