Badaling, China

The best preserved and most visited part of the Great Wall of China is to be found at Badaling, about 1,000 meters above sea level and 80km from Beijing. It is one of the most recognised parts of the wall as it is here than many world leaders and dignitaries are photographed due to its easy access and stunning views across the surrounding countryside.

The Great Wall of China is a man-made construction that was built across the northern borders of China to defend it against nomadic intruders. Parts of the wall were constructed as early as the 7th century BC, with the majority of the existing wall reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. The best estimates conclude that the wall is over 8,800km long. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Badaling, literally means ‘reach eight directions’, and was named as its series of ridges stretch in all directions. This section of the wall is 7,600 metres long and was constructed from solid granite slabs in 1505 during the reign of Hong Zhi, an emperor of the Ming Dynasty. It held a key strategic position for defence as a military strong hold and was the first part of the wall to be opened to the public, in 1957.

The surrounding area has been developed to support the millions of visitors who flock to the wall and is home to hotels, restaurants and a cable car and express railway link from central Beijing.

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