section Great Wall is about 75 kilometers northwest of Beijing, and it
is the best preserved part of the Great Wall. Bade means in English "convenient
transportation to all directions".
Roads from Badaling lead to Yanqing County to its north; Xuanhua, Zhangjiakou
and Datong to the west; to the east is Yongning and Sihai; Beijing is
to the south. From here people can go to all directions, hence the name
of Badaling. Badaling Pass was an outpost of Juyongguan Pass.
The Wall here was rising high on the mountain ridge. It used to be more
important than Juyong Pass in the defence of Beijing. An old saying can
be the best description: "It needs only one man to block ten thousandside.
The outer side of the Wall is topped with crenellated battlements, which
is about 2 meters high and with a square sized hole below for shooting
arrows through and also for keeping a watch over the enemy, while the
parapets about 1 meter high is on the inner side. The bottom of the Wall
here is laid up with big stone blocks while the upper parts were built
with large pieces of rectangular shaped bricks. Steps were built at the
particulary steep slop and paved with huge stone blocks or bricks. The
wall was filled up with hardened rammed earth; stones and roks! were covered
up with large pieces of rectangular bricks. To strengthen the defensive
capabilities, beacon towers and watch towers of various sizes were built
at strategic points.
The Great Wall twists: and runs mostly in mountains: and in the deserts:or
,turns up the mountains and down valleys. Without any use of machinery
at all, it was really an unimaginably difficult job at that time, especially
some of the stone blocks were as big as :more than 1,000 kilograms a piece
in weight. Atthat time, the common, transportation method was to carry
the building materials by the backbreaking labors.
The main force for the work was composed of soldiers defending the frontier,
exiles andcriminals as well as the local laborers. They did all the heavy
jobs but under the threat of swords and whips,, They had to move all the
heavy stone blocks, bricks, lime and other materials up to the mountains
on their bare backs and shoulders or a pole on the shoulder with two baskets
on both ends. Sometimes the earth and stones were passed up from hand
to hand or carried in baskets by donkeys and goats, while the large stone
slabs were moved up to the mountains by means of rolling logs and crowbars.
The cables were invented and considered to be more ngenious tools,so that
the building material, such as the :stones, rocks, lime, bricks or tiles,
could be carried in baskets over the deep gullies or rivers by the cables.
Since most of work had to be done manually, the construction was very
slow. A stone inscription unearthed at Badaling records that in 1582 during
the Ming Dynasty, a section of 200 meters at Badaling Great: Wall had
to be done by taking several thousand soldiers, peasants and conscripts
labors to finish in a whole year.
So you can just imaginehow hard it was when people built up the Great
Wall! Lots of people died of hard toil when they built the Great Wall
and their bodies were buried inside the Great Wall. That is why the Great
Wall is also called "the longest cemetery in the world".
Today the Great Wall has lost its significance in defending the enemy,
but in ancient times the Great Wall was nOtonly a strong defensive project
but also played ia very important strategic role in!