Pianguan
2010-2-10 Visit: [Large Medium Small]

http://tour.xinzhou.org/

Pianguan. Pianguan was in today’s Pianguan County of Shānxi Province. It was one of the three out passes. It faces the Yellow River in the west, connected with the Datong Basin in the east, and links up the Guancen Mountain in the south and Tumochuan in the north. Since the ancient times it had been a place of great strategic importance and the troop station site. From the Five Dynasties to the Song Dynasties, Piantousai was set up there. The named was followed in the Jing Dynasty and was changed into ‘Pianguan’ during the Yuan Dynasty. The old Piantouguan city was to the northeast of today’s Pianguan city, with the whole rampart on the ridge steeper in the east side, hence the name ‘Piantouzhai’ (the Piantou Camp).

In 1390 Zhang Xian, the commander of Zhenxi Wei, set up Pianguansuo (the Pianguan station) in Pianguan and began the construction of a new city. In 1429 when Garrison Commander of Shānxi Town shifted troops from Ningwuguan to Pianguan, the pass city was extended to the south. Later, after several extensions in the Tian Shun, Cheng Hua and Hong Zhi periods, Pianguan began to take on today’s appearance. Its perimeter is about 2.5 kilometers, and the height 11.7 meters. On the east, west and south sides there was a gate. In the early times it was an earth city. In 1569 the whole ramparts of the old and the new cities were covered with a layer of grey bricks. Today the eastern rampart is still kept, upon which the Yu Huang Temple (the Jade Emperor Temple) was built. It is also called ‘the Pure Jade Palace’ and is one of the eight ancient scenery of Piantouguan.

In the autumn of 1515, Emperor Wuzong of the Ming Dynasty made his round from Laoyingbao (the Old Camp Fortress) to the city via the southern gate. At the sight of the city, he could not help sighing, ‘It is hard to built and harder to guard.’ The White Sheep Ridge Great Wall in the east that belongs to Pianguan is the west rendezvous of the inner Great Wall and the outer Great Wall. From there the inner Great Wall and the outer Great Wall become one and keeps running westward to the Yellow River bank. It is the first meeting of the Great Wall and the southward going Yellow River after its farewell with the Yalu River in Liaoning Province and a long journey through numerous mountains.

 

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