The Dongjiakou (sometimes called Jizhen) Great Wall was initially built in 1381 AD, In 1571AD, Qijiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty transformed it into a first-class border wall. With a length of 8.9 kilometers, this portion of the Great Wall winds its way up and down the Stone Step Mountain, the Damao Mountain, and (finally) the Rock Mountain. It has 2 strategic passes, 31 Watchtowers, 14 Beacon Towers, and three Fortresses: the Pochengzi Fortress, the Dongjiakou Fortress, and Damao
Fortress. (Today, only the ruins of the Damao Fortress can be found , south of Dongjiakou village). Although the Dongjiakou Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty is more than 620 years old , it has remained one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty.
This accomplishment can be attributed to the inhabitants of Dongjiakou village. The villagers of Dongjiakou are the descendants of the builders and guards of the Great Wall. Therefore, the villagers have taken it upon themselves to maintain this section of the Wall as original as possible. Due to lack of personal money, they have been able to restore only a small section, but have done a remarkable job none-the-less. Old bricks were collected and re-deployed to repair broken sections. The original arch-stone, displaying a beautiful sculpture of two lions playing with a ball of silk, was re-installed onto the Watchtower's Gate, although other arch-stones with elegant Chinese characters in relief are still lying in the corner for future renovations. It is interesting to note that a local villager, Mr. Sun, has taken it upon himself to make a voluntary daily inspection of the Wall to ensure its safety.
Visiters to this part of the Great Wall are privileged to see a rare sight - the Cihou Tower. Cihou is a solid command post with no roof, giving the defenders a 360-degree-view of the whole area. This 4-sided structure has 24 observation holes(6 on each side). This structure can not be found anywhere else. It is interesting to notice that there are quite a few watchtowers named after the surnames of various historical commanders: the Sun's Watchtower, the Gen's Watchtower, the Wang's Watchtower, etc. And one will find the Sun, Gen, Wang are the three most-common surnames of the villagers.
a. The entrance to this part is RMB15/person, partly of whicht is used to help fund repairs planned for the remaining, un-restored part of the Wall.
b. Offering pristine forest and graceful mountains, Dongjiakou is not only a good place for Great Wall hiking and seeing the ruins of old fortresses, but it is also a nice place to visit for its natural beauty. Planning for extra time in this area is recommended.
c. Hiking from Dongjiakou westward to Xiaohekou takes about six hours, passing the Chengzhiyu village and the ruins of its fortress on the way. It is a very pleasant hike. However as this area is not well-mapped, to avoid wasting time trying to find the right way, it is better to have an ex perienced hiking leader with you. Contact us for information in detail and/or to engage a hiking leader.