The Great Wall at Badaling is located in Yanqing
County, which is about 60 kilometers northwest of Beijing. It is
widely known as the most representative section of the ¡°Great
Wall¡± from the Ming Dynasty. Well laid out with huge
uniform bricks, the wall was built on the ridges of the mountains.
Various beacon towers were erected at strategic points along the
wall. Badaling is a place of strategic importance and its wall is
both tall and sturdy. With its many beacon towers, the wall looks
magnificent and best epitomizes the magnificence of traditional
Sitting at the highest point of the strategic
pass leading to Beijing from the northwest, the Great Wall at Badaling
consists of the main wall and several subordinate walls. It is flanked
by steep mountains and popularly known as the ¡°key to
the northern gate.¡± Now 3,741 meters of the Great
Wall at Badaling and 21 beacon towers are open to visitors.
The Great Wall at Badaling was listed in the first
group of major historic sites under state protection in 1961. In
1987 it was included in the World Heritage List. In 1991 the Great
Wall at Badaling, as a representative of China¡¯s Great
Wall, was granted the World Heritage Certificate by the United States.
In that same year, it was selected as the best of the 40 best Chinese
scenic spots. In 2001, it was among the first scenic spots to be
awarded with a AAAA rank and in 2002 it again represented the Great
Wall to receive a Guinness World Record issued by the Guinness Headquarters
in the U.K.
The Great Wall at Badaling is a world-renowned
scenic spot, and also an important place for receiving foreign guests,
the visitor count by now has surpassed 130 million. More than 420
foreign leaders and heads of state, including Nixon, Reagan, Mandela,
Queen Elizabeth II, Mrs. Thatcher, George W. Bush, and Vladimir
Putin have at various times climbed the wall.
Today, holding more than 30 both domestic and
international cultural and sports activities every year, the Great
Wall at Badaling has become an embodiment of the peace and friendship
among the world¡¯s peoples. An International New-Year¡¯s
Hike has been held for nine years consecutively now and has become
one of the eight world-famous New-Year outdoor activities. The Great
Wall has also hosted such events as Pele¡¯s soccer show,
a concert by Japanese solo singer Saijo Hideki, magician Robert
Gallup¡¯s great escape and a second visit by Steven Hawking;
the CCTV¡¯s popular program ¡°The Same Song¡±
once held a major concert named ¡°Witnessed by the Great
Wall, Long Live the Love¡± on the wall. With their
clearly positive themes, these various brand-new activities are
being watched by people all around the world and thus these activities
are exerting a profound influence on the world.