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Niangziguan Pass

 2014-08-25    Ada    Tours    Pingding    774  

The Great Wall of China is a well-known monument that has witnessed centuries of civilization and dynasties. Part of this great structure is the Niangziguan Pass or the ‘Ninth Pass of the Great Wall of China’. Located 28 miles northeast of Pingding County in Yangquan City, where Shanxi Province meets Hebei Province, Niangziguan Pass, was originally called Weize Pass. Endowed with both cultural relics and beautiful scenery, the Shanxi Niangziguan Pass is really worth visiting.

It occupies an important commanding position, standing on the cliff surrounding by the gushing Taohe River. It is strategically located between the borders of Hebei and Shanxi Provinces. The reason to build this pass was to fortify the castle of Niangziguan. This castle is built on the nearby high mountains. The River Taohe flows on the northwest side of the castle, while it faces a deep valley. Together with the deep valley, river and the pass, the Niangziguan Castle formed a tough fortification between the Hebei and Shanxi Province.

Legend goes that during the Tang Dynasty, the army under the command of Princess Pingyang, daughter of Li Yuan, the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, once garrisoned here. Hence the name "Ladies Pass." In ancient times, this Great Wall pass was always being the point of battle because of the nearby lofty mountains and deep valleys. The fortress inside is built against the high Mianshan Mountain on one side, while facing a bottomless chasm on the other, making it impassable even to an army of ten thousand.

The present Niangziguan Pass fortress was rebuilt in Ming Dynasty. There are only two gates – the south gate and the east gate. The south gate looks extremely dignified with four impressive characters 'Jing Ji Fan Ping' carved in the front, meaning the protective screen of the capital. The east gate is carved with 'Zhi Li Niang Zi Guan', which means the pass is directly under the control of the capital.

Due to its surrounding attractive scenery, this place has been a destination of many tourist holidays. Near the Niangziguan Pass, there are many places of historic interest, such as The Platform for Appointing Commanders, The Tower of Veteran General, and The Washbasin-Like Pool. The underground water resources within this area are very rich. The underground water over here gushes out in the form of natural springs, which form an endless flow of water throughout the year. There are several scenic waterfalls around the Pass, and one of them ‘Shuiliandong’ is famous for forming a curtain over a cave.

The Washbasin-Like Pool is carved in a rock, whose bottom flows with clear spring water. A legend says that this is the place where Princess Ping Yang washed her hair. Close to it, there are many waterfalls, the most impressive one called 'Shuiliandong', or 'Water Curtain Cave'. From its name, you can imagine what a big waterfall it is. The waterfall is made up of many small streams, pouring down from the lofty cliff and creating breaking showers, layer upon layer in all directions.

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