The Jinshanling (Golden Mountain Peak) Great Wall was first built in the six century during the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). Along it are 67 watchtowers, all in different styles, at average intervals of 150 meters. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) General Qi Jiguang (1528-1587) reinforced the structure of the Jinshanling Great Wall by making it higher and denser and by building double walls at strategic sections.
Its gentle gradient makes Jinshanling a vulnerable spot, easy to attack but difficult to defend. At the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, however, the walls are more solid, and the watchtowers taller and more concentrated. Viewed from a distance, the Jinshanling Great Wall is like a giant dragon, zigzagging its path over the mountain peaks whose line it follows.
Keen-eyed photographers know that the best place to take pictures of the Great Wall is not Badaling or Shanhaiguan, but Jinshanling. The Great Wall from Simatai in Beijing to Jinshanling in Hebei Province is the best-preserved stretch; therefore, many overseas visitors choose it. It is said that there are more overseas Great Wall climbers at Jinshanling than there are Chinese people. People also say that anyone who has climbed Jinshanling is not interested in seeing any other part of the Great Wall, as it retains its original Ming-dynasty outlook, and so vividly reflects the full ethos of that epoch. Jinshanling is far less crowded than the Badaling or Shanhaiguan Great Wall, thus giving today’s climbers a hint of the isolation that must have been felt by its ancient defenders.
Chinese imperial dynasties appeared, prospered and died out throughout history. The Great Wall bears witness to their vicissitudes, and demonstrates the Chinese people’s hard working spirit, and the splendid culture and history of the Chinese civilization.