Located in Huairou County 70km northeast of Beijing, Mutianyu section of Great Wall is connected with Juyongguan Pass in the west and Gubeikou Gateway in the east. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, Mutianyu section of Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.
First built in the mid-6th during the Northern Qi dynasty, Mutianyu Great Wall is older than Badaling Great Wall. In the Ming dynasty, under the supervision of General Xu Da, construction of the present wall began on the foundation of the wall of Northern Qi. In 1404, a pass was built in the wall. In 1569, the Mutianyu Great Wall was rebuilt and till today most parts of it are well preserved. The Mutianyu Great Wall has the largest construction scale and best quality among all sections of Great Wall.
The wall is seven-to-eight meters high and four-to-five meters wide at the top and five-to-six at the bottom. The brick wall is reinforced with a stone facing. Watchtowers and over-towering pass densely scatter along this section of Great Wall - exactly, 22 watchtowers in the 2250-meter-long wall. They vary from being complex structures of more than one storey to simple beacons. Among these, the most famous is Zhen Bei Tai, a castle complex that consists of three inner-connected watchtowers. These combined three towers ensured the defending forces could control any attempt at an invasion.
Most parts of the Great Wall have outer defensive parapets to provide cover for the soldiers and a low parapet on the inner side (called Nu Qiang) to prevent soldiers or horses from falling. However, in this section, both the outer and inner parapets have merlons, indicating its military importance. Also there is a 1000 meter long wall parallel to the main wall to enhance the defences.
Besides, this section of Great Wall is surrounded by woodland and streams. The Forest-coverage Rate is over 90 percent. The surrounding natural environment is most attractive. Here the mountains are densely covered by verdant plants and tall ancient trees. In autumn, the maple leaves with their bright shades are truly amazing. In recent years, a garden party is usually held in autumn. Tourists can enjoy the sights of festive bonfires, performances in ancient costumes and other entertaining programs.
Comparing with other sections of Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall possesses unique characteristics in its construction.
Today, this section of wall is open to visitors. Mounting cable car is equipped to help visitors.