Originally spanning 40 kilometers in length, much of the old city wall has been destroyed over the years to make room for subways, highways and new buildings.
Fortunately, parts of the old city wall remain, and beginning on November 25, 2001, the Chinese government began removing all of the shanty houses and other residences and buildings that were built up using the city wall as part of their structures, which may have actually saved this long section of the wall by hiding it in a maze of hutongs (alleyways) for many years.
In 2002, the Beijing Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park officially opened, displaying the remaining parts of the ancient city wall in a pleasant park that runs in a straight line along the approximately 1.
5 kilometer section of the wall that still remains.
A reliable Beijing tour company can take you there, with this park making a fascinating compare/contrast site when combined with a Great Wall tour of the ancient Ming Dynasty Wall near Beijing in the same day.
It is also very easy to access the park via the Chongwen subway station on the 2nd (loop) line of the Beijing Subway system.
flowers and partial reconstruction add to the ambiance Parts of the city wall in the park have been reconstructed from the original bricks of the wall that had been "borrowed" by some of the residence owners when they built their own houses along the wall.
The grounds of the park have been beautifully landscaped with trees and flowers, making the park especially nice in the spring, summer and fall.
section of old railroad tracks uncovered During construction of the Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park, workers uncovered a section of the old railroad tracks that had actually run through the old wall surrounding the inner city.
A hole had been punched in the wall so that the train could pass through, and this section of the old wall has also been reconstructed to its original state.
central sections of the Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park Original sections of the wall combined with sections that have been reconstructed from the original bricks from the wall help to show what the wall would have looked like centuries ago.
more restoration on the western end of the wall The westernmost section of the ancient wall around the inner city is undergoing heavy restoration, including the restoration of the hole that was knocked through the original wall to allow the railroad to pass through.
Dongbianmen (Dongnan Jiaolou) - The Southeast Watchtower Dongbianmen, also known as Dongnan Jiaolou (the Southeast Watchtower) served as a lookout point on the southeastern perimeter of the ancient inner city wall.
The 100 meters or so of the wall directly west of the watchtower are the original wall, which has survived destruction due to its location adjacent to the watchtower itself.
The Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park makes for a nice morning or afternoon visit when the weather is nice.
The local government keeps the gardens along the wall in beautiful shape year-round, but it is perhaps at its best during Spring and Fall when the weather is better and the gardens are in full bloom.