Shanhaiguan Pass, about 26 kilometers northeast of Qinhuangdao City in north China's Hebei Province, is the eastern end of the Great Wall.
It starts at Jiayuguan Pass, in northwestern Gansu Province, and stretches for 6,000 kilometers to end at Shanhaiguan, on the shores of Bohai Bay. There you can find the Laolongtou-Old Dragon's Head (the only part of the Great Wall that meets the sea), the "Number One Pass Under Heaven" (the first pass of the Great Wall), Jiao Shan (the first mountain the Great Wall climbs), Jiumenkou (the only part of the Great Wall in the shape of a bridge), and Meng Jiang-Nu Temple built during the Song Dynasty. Hence, Shanjaiguan Great Wall is called the "Museum of the Construction of the Great Wall." Shanhaiguan became known as the First Pass under Heaven since ancient times. It was set up by General Xu Da in 1381 (the 14th year of the Ming Hong Wu reign) when a castle was erected here. Shanhaiguan was shaped like an irregular trapezoid with a gate on each side, namely Zhendong, Yingen, Wangyang and Weiyuan. The south and north wings are fortifications where soldiers were stationed. Outside the east and west gates are outer walls to strengthen the defense of the castle.
The average height of the Shanhaiguan Great Wall is 11.6 meters, its width over 10 meters. It is built of rammed earth faced with bricks. A horizontal board with the inscription for "First Pass under Heaven" in the calligraphy of the Ming dynasty scholar Xiao Xian hangs on the second story of the Gate Tower. There are two small fortifications, one in the south, and the other in the north. They are the same shape and size. Together with towers at the northeast and southeast corner, they present a solemn majesty.