Dayushu Town, Remembrance of the Guishui River

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019  2017-Sep-15 11:03:28

Xiaozhangjiakou’s Dongying Castle Relics Site

Located in a flat area to the east of Xiaozhangjiakou, the Dongying Castle Relics Site was originally found on the outer side of the Nanshanlu section of the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty’s Xuanfu region. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°01′39.3″ and north latitude 40°23′47.9″ and it has an elevation of 601 meters.

Built during the Ming Dynasty, the castle was a rammed earth structure, and was rectangular in shape. The walls ran from the east, north and west and attached to the Great Wall in the south. It was about 95 meters from south to north and about 70 meters from west to east. It occupies an area of 6,650 square meters. The castle has been seriously damaged, with the remaining wall being about 3 meters above ground at its highest point. A vaulted gate opened in the side of the Great Wall and has now completely collapsed. Cultivation has developed in the castle, which has not undergone any excavation. It is now preserved in the open air.

Xiaozhangjiakou’s Xiying Castle Relics Site

Located in a hillside area about 1,200 meters west of Xiaozhangjiakou, the Xiying Castle Relics Site was originally found on the inner side of the Nanshanlu section of the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty’s Xuanfu region. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°00′44.7″ and north latitude 40°23′17.2″ and it has an elevation of 641 meters.

Built during the Ming Dynasty, the castle was also a rammed earth structure. It was built in a rough rectangular shape. The walls ran from the east, south and west and attached to the Great Wall in the north. It was about 100 meters from south to north and about 90 meters from west to east. It occupied an area of about 9,000 square meters. The south wall has disappeared because local villagers dug earth from it for other uses. The west wall has also been seriously damaged. The base of the east wall is about 3 meters wide and what has remained of the walls is only 1.5 to 2.5 meters high. No gate has ever been discovered. Cultivation has developed in the castle, which has not undergone any excavation.

Dayushu Town currently has seven registered brick kilns, all of which are located on the two sides of the Nanshanlu section of the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty’s Xuanfu region, today’s Xiaozhangjiakou. These kilns were built to make bricks for the Great Wall built during the Ming Dynasty. The viscosity of local earth made it ideal for making burned bricks and therefore a large number of kilns were located here. The kilns are all round in shape. It is 4 to 5 meters across and 0.3 to 0.4 meters in thickness. The preservation of these kilns varies from one to the other, but all of them have been damaged. Some of them are only about 2.5 meters high and others have almost completely disappeared. As demonstrated by the brick kilns found here, they were built on a large scale, which shows that the bricks used for building the Great Wall were made using materials available from nearby instead of being sent to the construction site from centrally located kilns.

Xiaozhangjiakou is also home to nine beacon towers, which are all located north of the Nanshanlu section of the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty’s Xuanfu region. All of them have fallen into disrepair and collapsed into mounds. The space between these kilns is about 500 meters. What remains of the kilns are only 2.5 to 12 meters high. It is a rammed earth structure and the rammed earth layer with sand is 8 to 25 centimeters. Beacon towers played a crucial role in the defense system of the Ming Dynasty. Xiaozhangjiakou was another key defense frontier north of the imperial mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty. Therefore, a large number of castles and beacon towers can be found in this area, where most of Dayushu Town’s Great Wall-related resources are located.

(Source: Remembrance of the Guishui River)

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