Tuesday, July 26, 2011

China - The Juyong Pass

The Juyong Pass is flanked by towering mountains on both sides and interrupted by a 20-kilometer-long valley in the middle which is called the "Guangou Valley" with the city of the Juyong Pass down at the center. There are two separate passes on the south and the north. The southern one is called Nankou while the northern one is Badaling.

Sent by Alinna, a postcrosser from China.

This is from Wikipedia : Juyongguan or Juyong Pass (simplified Chinese: 居庸关; traditional Chinese: 居庸關; pinyin: Jūyōng Guān) is located in an 18 kilometer (11 mile)-long valley named "Guangou" which is inside Changping County more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Beijing City. It is one of the three greatest passes of the Great Wall of China. The other two passes are Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan.

It had many different names in the past dynasties. However, the name "Juyongguan" was used by more than three dynasties. It was first used in the Qin Dynasty when Emperor Qinshihuang ordered the building of the Great Wall. Juyongguan Pass has two passes, one at the south and one at the north. The south one is called "Nan Pass" and the north one is called "Badaling".

This pass was connected to the Great Wall in the Southern and Northern Dynasties.

In the middle of Juyongguan, there is a "Cloud Platform" with another name of "Crossing Street Tower". It was made of white marble in the Yuan Dynasty with a height of 9.5 meters. Around the top of the platform there are many structures such as stone railings and a watching post. They are still kept in the style of the Yuan Dynasty. In the middle of the base of the platform there is an arched door where men, horses and carriages could pass through. Many animal images were carved in the arched hole and the arched door. On the walls of both sides of the door, the statues of gods and scriptures are carved. There were three white towers on the platform in the past (this is how it got the name of "Crossing Street Tower") and were destroyed in the transitional period between the Yuan Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty. Later a Tai'an Temple was built on the platform but was later destroyed in the Qing Dynasty.

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