Mutianyu Great Wall has a long history and a splendid culture. Located 70 kilometers away from the center of Beijing, it is one of the famous sections of the Great Wall in Beijing and represents the essence of the Ming Dynasty's Great Wall. The construction of Mutianyu Great Wall has an unique style. For instance, Zhengguan Pass with three watchtowers standing together to form a central watchtower, is rare among the Great Wall sections. To the northwest, there are famous Great Wall landscapes known as Arrow Valley, and Eagle Flying Upside Down. The terrain is steep and rugged, with continuous undulations, resembling a soaring dragon. In spring, the mountain is covered with beautiful flowers; in summer, it is lush and accompanied by the sound of flowing water; in autumn, the mountains are adorned with red leaves and abundant fruits; and in winter, it is covered in white snow, presenting a picturesque northern scenery. Mutianyu Great Wall is renowned both domestically and internationally and is praised as an outstanding section of the Great Wall.
1. Geographic Location
Mutianyu Great Wall is located in Mutianyu Village, Huairou District. It is located east of Gubeikou and west of Huanghuacheng and Badaling and far away from Juyong Pass, Zijing Pass, and Daoma Pass. With its strategic location, Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the most well-preserved and representative sections of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall in China. It serves as a military barrier to protect the capital and imperial tombs and has always been a contested area for military purposes.
2. Natural Environment
Mutianyu Great Wall experiences distinct seasons, allowing seasonal tourism activities throughout the year. Surrounded by mountains with a vegetation coverage rate of over 96%, the average annual temperature in Mutianyu is 11.9 degrees Celsius. The warm and humid climate has created abundant vegetation, with the Great Wall blending harmoniously with the green mountains and clear waters. It is renowned for its ancient charm and natural beauty, earning the reputation of being the "most beautiful section of the Great Wall". There are over a thousand ancient trees that are over a hundred years old. From March, various mountain flowers such as peach blossoms, apricot blossoms, pyracanthas, and azaleas start to bloom, covering the mountains in a colorful display. In summer, the mountains are lush and the streams flow gently. In autumn, the green pine and cypress trees, red maple and oak trees, yellow chestnut and apricot trees, golden persimmon and pear trees, and purple pear and plum trees create a picturesque scene with the white branches of the deciduous poplar trees. In winter, the mountains are covered in glistening white snow, resembling a beautiful northern landscape.
3. Landscape Features
Zhengguan Pass: It's also known as Mutianyu Pass or Three Watchtowers. Zhengguan Pass was built in the second year of the Yongle reign of the Ming Dynasty (1404 AD). It consists of three watchtowers, with upper and lower levels. The central tower is larger, while the two side towers are smaller. The different levels of the three towers are connected, forming a layout of a main hall and side rooms, which is rare in the entire architecture of the Great Wall.
Watchtowers: Mutianyu Great Wall is densely populated with watchtowers. In less than 500 meters from Mutianyu One Watchtower (Dajiaolou) to Mutianyu Four Watchtower (Zhengguan Pass), there are four watchtowers. From Mutianyu One Watchtower to Mutianyu Twenty Watchtower, which is only 3000 meters in length, there are a total of 25 watchtowers, enemy platforms, wall platforms, and barracks. This section of the Great Wall, where there is an watchtower approximately every hundred meters, is also uncommon.
Double-sided Battlements: Mutianyu Great Wall has double-sided battlements. In other sections of the Great Wall, there is usually a battlement wall built on the outer side of the wall. However, in the Mutianyu section, both sides of the wall have battlement walls. These battlement walls served as shelters for the defending soldiers during combat against the enemy. The presence of battlement walls on both sides indicates that both sides were engaged in combat against the enemy, highlighting the important strategic position of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in history.
Supporting Fortresses: Mutianyu Great Wall has both inner and outer supporting fortresses. Supporting fortresses are built outside the main wall according to the needs of warfare, following the mountain terrain and branching out from the main wall. The outer supporting fortress of Mutianyu is located on the outer side of the main wall, connected to the wall of Mutianyu Eleven Watchtower. The inner supporting fortress refers to the wall that extends southward from Dajiaolou, known as the "Bald-Tailed Border."
"Niu Ji Jiao Bian" (Bull's Horn): Mutianyu Great Wall runs in a northwest direction. After passing the 20th watchtower, it climbs straight up to the top of a steep cliff that is one kilometer high from the gentle southern slope. After an watchtower on the mountaintop, it descends along the edge of the steep cliff, bypasses the valley, and then follows the opposite mountain ridge before winding westward. The shape of the Great Wall, with its ascent and descent, resembles a bull's horn, giving it a majestic and powerful appearance, hence the name "Niu Ji Jiao Bian" (Bull's Horn).
"Ying Fei Dao Yang" (Eagle Flying Upside Down): On one side of the Great Wall, there is a vertical cliff, while on the other side, there is a steep slope with an angle greater than 70 degrees. The Great Wall climbs from one side of the peak to the top, and then descends vertically from the other side, result in a height difference of ten meters. Each step is only a few inches wide, barely enough to fit one foot. This is why it is described as even an eagle would have to fly upside down to pass through, hence the name "Ying Fei Dao Yang" (Eagle Flying Upside Down). It is extremely dangerous and thrilling.
The First Cable Car of the Great Wall:
The cable car system has a total length of 723 meters, with a final altitude of 640 meters. It has 58 automatic cabins and a one-way capacity of 1800 passengers per hour. The entire operation system is fully automated, allowing temporary stops at stations for convenient boarding and disembarking for those with mobility difficulties. It is safe, comfortable, and fast, earning the reputation of "The First Cable Car of the Great Wall."
The slide is an emerging recreational activity that combines sports and entertainment, commonly known as dryland sledding. It utilizes the principle of gravitational acceleration to allow the sled to zoom down the mountain, providing excitement, thrills, safety, and comfort. It gives a sensation of flying close to the ground or racing in a car. The slide has a braking system, allowing for both fast and slow speeds, suitable for all ages. This slide is a stainless steel chute produced by the German company Wiegand, with a total length of 1580 meters. It winds along the mountain, resembling a snake, and safely brings you to the foot of the Great Wall from the Mutianyu Tower.
The Great Wall Cultural Exhibition Center:
The Mutianyu Great Wall Cultural Exhibition Center is located in the Mutianyu Great Wall Comprehensive Service Area. Its exterior is quaint and elegant, covering an area of 1207 square meters, fully showcasing the profound cultural heritage of the Mutianyu Great Wall.
5. Overview of the Comprehensive Service Area
The Mutianyu Great Wall Comprehensive Service Area is located on the northern side of the Mutianyu Roundabout in Bohai Town, with a building area of 44,674.76 square meters. It includes a visitor center, ticket office, Great Wall Cultural Exhibition Center, office area, and both above-ground and underground parking lots. The successive establishment and improvement of service facilities have not only accelerated the overall development of the Mutianyu Great Wall but also optimized the layout of the scenic area's economic development. It has greatly facilitated the travel and sightseeing of visitors to the scenic area.
Visitor Service Center: There is electronic information display screens to show information about the scenic area. The map wall is mainly used to introduce directions to visitors and provide panoramic views for tour guides. The information desk mainly provides tourism information consultation, complaint handling, tour guide services, medical assistance, external publicity, comprehensive services, and business services. It can provide you with free services such as hot and cold water, package storage, baby strollers, wheelchairs, and other services.
Ticket Office: There are a total of 13 ticket windows, including 3 group ticket windows for tickets, cable cars, and slides. Individual ticket sales and group ticket sales are separated to facilitate ticket purchases for visitors.
Restaurants: The Great Wall Villa, Yisonglou Restaurant, and the Chinese and Western restaurants in the commercial street provide a comfortable and elegant dining environment and delicious cuisine to meet your various dining needs.
Parking Lots: There are both above-ground and underground parking lots, with a total area of 45,091.98 square meters and a total of 1,051 parking spaces. The underground parking lot covers an area of 30,142.98 square meters, with 806 parking spaces. The above-ground parking lot covers an area of 14,949 square meters, with 245 parking spaces.
Shuttle Bus: There are 15 shuttle buses in the scenic area, transporting 2,500 visitors per hour. Visitors can take the shuttle bus to the Great Wall scenic area.
Commercial Street: While inheriting the traditional Great Wall culture, it offers creative Mutianyu Great Wall branded souvenirs. Well-known Chinese and Western food chains provide you with good dining services. All dining brands offer outdoor seating areas for you to enjoy the beautiful scenery while tasting various specialty foods. Each store in the commercial street also offers coffee and tea drinks, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a slow-paced urban life.