Listed as one of the World Heritages by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1987, the Great Wall of China, a symbolic image of China physically and mentally, is one of the best Chinese historical relics. It is considered as the backbone of the Chinese people and the soul of the Chinese nation. Dating back to 656 B.C. when China had the earliest record about great wall, the construction of great walls underwent more than 20 Chinese feudal dukedoms and dynasties for over 2,000 years. With a total length of about 50,000 km, the great walls are distributed in 20 or so Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government. The Great Wall Online is the name of an important news web site in Hebei Province. Why was it given the name? And why was it preceded by the term Great Wall?
In the land of Hebei, there exist Great Walls built in different periods ranging from the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In the Warring States Period, the states of Zhao, Yan and Zhongshan built their own great walls. You can find the remains of them today. After Emperor Qin Shi Huang made China unified in 221 B.C., the Qin great walls were built. They can be found in Chengde and Zhangjiakou, two cities in north and northwest Hebei. In the periods of the Southern and Northern Dynasties and the succeeding dynasties like the Liao and Jin, great walls were constructed continuously. The remains of the walls built in the dynasties of Northern Wei, Northern Qi and Jin are located in north Hebei, mostly in the cities of Zhangjiakou, Chengde and Qinhuangdao. Today when people talk about the great wall, it refers to the Great Wall built in China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in most occasions. During a period of more than 200 years in the Ming, the Great Wall underwent construction for 18 times. Starting from the Yalu River in Liaoning Province and ending in the Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu Province, the Great Wall of China stretches as long as 7,000 km (including its inner walls). The section of the Great Wall in Hebei, which starts from Laolongtou at the district of Shanhaiguan, Qinhuangdao and ends in the Mashikou Pass at Huai’an County, Zhangjiakou, is 1,200 km. If the inner walls are included, it can be as long as 2,000 km. The section of the Great Wall in Hebei passes through many counties and districts under the cities of Tangshan, Qinhuangdao, Chengde, Zhangjiakou and Baoding, and in some areas it passes through Hebei’s borders with Liaoning Province, Shanxi Province, Beijing and Tianjin Municipalities. About 300 passes and countless blockhouses, fighting platforms, side gates, and beacon towers were built on the Wall.
Being near the capital of the Ming Dynasty, this section of the Great Wall in Hebei was constructed strongly and with the finest workmanship. So it is the best part of all. Most part of the 7,000 km long Great Wall were built in clays. Only a small part, about 1,000 km, was built in bricks and stones. It is solid and strong and looks magnificent. Of the 1000 km long Great Wall, the big part is located in Hebei. Only a small part, about 200 km, is in the area of Beijing. Though every part of the Great Wall has its unique features, the most important part is in Hebei and the most potential part for the development of tourism is in Hebei. As some of the experts on the Great Wall research say, only when you visit the section of the Great Wall in Hebei, can you feel how dangerously steep, how magnificent and how great the Great Wall is.
The Great Wall in Hebei possesses many well known scenic spots, such as Laolongtou, where the Great Wall meets the Bohai Sea, the Shanhaiguan Pass, “the First Pass under Heaven”, the Jiaoshan Section of the Great Wall, the first mountain with the Great Wall on it, the Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall, the best section of all, the Jiumenkou Pass, the first pass east of Beijing, and so on. The Great Wall of China is the best patriotism education base for the Chinese people. No other historic sites nor natural scenic spots could arouse the Chinese people’s patriotic feelings more than the Great Wall. It is because the great walls had played an important role in Hebei and they are well preserved in Hebei that Hebei’s key website The Great Wall Online was proceeded by the term Great Wall. This reflects the strong love of the motherland by the people of Hebei and stresses the local character of Hebei Province as well.