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Great Wall of Ming Dynasty

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The last large-scale construction of the Great Wall of China was carried out in the Ming Dynasty. In 1368, Zhuyuanzhang established the Ming dynasty with its capital in Nanjing. To secure the northern territories from the remnant Mongol forces, he sent his General Xu Da to build up the great wall at the Juyong pass and other strategic points in the first year of his reign. The Ming Great wall had a total length of more than 6,000 kilometers. It stretched from the Yalu River in Liaoning Province in the east to Jiayu Pass in Gansu Province in the west.

The old wall made of rock and clay was largely replaced by a wall of evenly-sized stone blocks and bricks. Beacon towers were erected on both sides of the wall, mostly at the top of the mountains or the turns of the ground to signal warning messages with smoke during the day and fire at night. Watch towers were located at regular intervals on the wall. In the middle of the tower there were small living quarters for the defence soldiers. On the upper part around the tower were holes for shooting arrows. The whole Great wall constituted a complete defense system of strategic significance.

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