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The City Wall of Nanjing

The City Wall of Nanjing is one of the largest city walls to be constructed in China, and one of the most well preserved. It was designed by Emperor Zhu Yuan Zhang during the Ming Dynasty to protect the capital city from invaders.

 

Why the City Wall of Nanjing is special

 

The Nanjing City Wall was the longest city wall in the world and the city within was the world’s largest until the 17th century. The wall allowed defense for the city, making it one of the most difficult to invade. Though the palace behind the protective barrier is long gone, the 600 year old wall itself stands as a reminder of the strength and power of the city of Nanjing since the late 1300’s.

 

The City Wall of Nanjing highlights

 

Zhonghua Gate

 

One of the main attractions of the Wall is the Zhonghua Gate. Finished in 1386, this gate is an original Ming Dynasty structure. Upon reaching the top of the wall, one will be able to overlook the city of Nanjing, the Qinhuai River, and the Yu Hua Tai Terrace. One will be able to imagine what difficulties invaders would have had to endure to break through the defenses. Understanding the structure of the fortress makes the history of this time period come alive to the spectator. A must see for any history enthusiast!

 

Unique design and construction

 

Different from ancient city walls in Beijing and Xi'an, its design and construction was unique and changed the old ways of equilibrium and symmetry. The construction concentrated on military defense because the city was at the foot of a mountain—a natural barrier to control the commanding elevation with the river as its natural city moat. Because of this, the 60-square-kilometre Nanjing city became strategically located and difficult to reach.

 

Profound historic and cultural background

 

When exploring the ancient wall, people will feel as if they have stepped into the past and will fully understand the majesty of the city’s defense system. Though the face of the city has changed, the wall that protected what was within has not. One will be able to observe artifacts of the wall, including the stamped bricks with information as to where and when it was made to ensure quality of a stronghold that will stand the test of time.

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