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The Datong Nine-Dragon Screen Wall was built at the start of the Ming Dynasty (1368).45.5 meters long, 8 meters high, and 22 meters thick.As one of the three famous walls of this style in China, the Datong Nine-Dragon Wall is the oldest, largest, and most enchanting one.
The nine dragons, each playing with a pearl were carved in a very lifelike manner. Colorful paint has been applied to the carvings to bring the dragons to life vividly, as they would have been over 600 years ago.
Among the nine dragons, one heading to the front with imposing appearance is held in awe by other dragons. Patterns of mountains, rivers and trees fill the left,serving as a contrast to make the dragons stand out.
The whole wall was built on a 2-meter-high throne, on which are carved 41 patterns of “two dragons playing with a pearl”.
On the waist of the throne are 75 vitreous bricks, with cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, deer and rabbits reflecting the superb carving skill of ancient China.
This nine-dragon wall was built for the 13th son of Zhu Yuanzhang(First Emperor of the Ming Dynasty) to satisfy his desire to be an emperor. However, the wall was carved with dragons of four talons, not five. That's because the five-talon dragon was a symbol of the emperor,while the recipient of the wall was a prince.
There are many streets, gates, and places with imperial names in Datong. For example, Huangcheng Street (‘Imperial City’ Street), Zhengdian Street (‘Main Hall’ Street), Donghua Gate (‘East China’ Gate), and so on. They all have ruins of imperial palaces.
If you want to discover more about this cultural city, it would be good to have an experienced private tour guide. We can help you with that.
Here are our two most popular Datong itineraries for your inspiration:
The dragon has special meaning in Chinese culture. Traveling to experience the Dragon Boat Festival(in May/June)would be an impressive way to augment your China tour.
There are another two nine dragon walls in Beijing:
A World Cultural Heritage Site, the Forbidden City is also steeped in dragon culture. Choose our One-day In-depth Beijing Forbidden City Heritage Discovery to take your time to discover more of the extravagant imperial life in China.
For a tailor-made Datong/Beijing/China tour, please do not hesitate to tell us your interests and requirements.