Located in Badaling, Yanqing District, the Great Wall Museum of China is a theme museum focused on displaying cultural relics and specimens that are unearthed in the country along the Great Wall, supplemented by charts, photographs, cultural landscape and models to interpret them.
Originally opened in September, 1994, the museum covers an area of over 4,000 square meters. It was officially reopened to the public for free on 18, May, 2008. Following the theme of World Miracle Historical Monument, the basic exhibition is composed of four major parts: "2,000 Years, Continuous Construction", "Spectacular Work, Streching out 10,000 Li", "Both Sides of the Wall, of One Great Family" and "Immortal Noble Spirits, to Further Developmet".
Historical Figures Related to the Great Wall
Wang Zhaojun was known as one of the Four Beauties of ancient China and regarded as a symbol of beauty. She gained the reputation for being so beautiful that, birds would fall from the sky at the sight of Wang Zhaojun's incomparable beautiful face.
In 33 BC, Huhanye Chanyu, the chieftain of Xiongnu in the north, initiated a visit to Han, pledged allegiance and proposed the policy of pacification through a marriage to keep a long-lasting friendly relation between the Han and the Xiongnu. Therefore, when Emperor Yuan asked for volunteers from the concubines of the harem, Wang Zhaojun presented herself as a volunteer.
On Huhanye’s farewell banquet, Zhaojun appeared. All the attendants were attracted by her grace and elegance. Emperor Yuan didn’t know the existence of such a beauty among his concubines. He was totally entranced by her charm that he considered retracting his decision. However, it was too late by then. He rewarded her with 224,000 meters of premium silk, 8,000 kg silk floss and other precious materials such as gold and gemstones. He, himself, also accompanied her for over 5,000 meters of her journey away from Chang’an. Escorted by officials sent by the emperor, shouldering the responsibility of the pacification between the Han and Xiongnu, she travelled through Tongguan, passing through the Yellow River and Yanmen. After a long journey of over a year, she finally reached the north in the early summer of the next year, receiving warm welcome from the local people.
Qi Jiguang was born in Shandong province, a place where many outstanding figures in history were born. In 1567, Qi Jiguang was called to Beijing, to eliminate pirates along the southeast coastline. He began rectifying the troops, reducing the ineffective officials, and creating infantry, chariot and transport corps as soon as he arrived. In addition, he improved the martial devices needed along the Great Wall.
On constructing the frontier defense facility, Qi Jiguang made a great effort to reinforce the Great Wall, supplementing and perfecting strategic defense system. During his tenure, 1017 watchtowers were completed for offensive and defensive needs, and more beacons were built for delivering military information. In less than ten years, a 5,000-meter-long Great Wall defense line was completed to be a secure defense system with well-equipped facilities. In 1574, even Dong Huli, the chieftain of Tuman tribe surrendered with his relatives of the same clan.
Constructed in the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall was the capital's defense. The scholars and researchers of the Great Wall believe that, not only did those who built the Great Wall have gift for design, they also had remarkable strategic insight. As mentioned above, the Great Wall embodies the wisdom of Qi Jiguang, a great general and famous ancient Chinese strategist. The outstanding and monumental achievement of this brilliant Chinese historical character could be remembered forever.