Jiayu Pass stands in the southwest section of the city Jiayuguan in Gansu Province. The snow-covered Qilian Mountains spread for hundreds of miles to the south, and the Dragon’s Head (Longshou) and the Horse’s Mane (Mazong) mountains rise to its north. The walls on both sides of the pass extend across the desert to join the mountains. It was a strategic passageway on the route to the western regions (west of China’s Yumen Pass, including what is today’s Xinjiang and Central Asia).
The existing building was constructed in 1372. It is a square structure with a circumference of 733 meters, divided into outer and inner sections. The outer wall was built with mud except for the western section, which was made of bricks. The double walls indicate the important strategic position of this pass.
Jiayu Pass is the western starting point of the existing Great Wall which then crosses deserts and follows mountain ridges for more than five thousand kilometers until it reaches the sea coast in eastern Liaoning Province.
Visitors may go to Jiayu Pass by either plane or train from Lanzhou and stay at the local hotels.
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