Ming City Walls

Built in the early 15th Century (Ming Dynasty), Beijing’s city walls were once 23.5km long, 20 meters wide at the base, Ming City Wallsup to 15 meters high and surrounded by a moat. Unfortunately, after standing for over 500 years, they had been largely demolished in 1965 to make way for new roads and the subway system. However, recent restoration has seen one part of the wall renovated – a stretch along the southern side of Beijing Train Station. They have also added a park along the more than 2km stretch of restored wall, which is a lovely place for a stroll. The section open to the public is the South-East Corner Watchtower. Ascending to the top affords good views of the trains shuttling into Beijing Train Station. Inside the watchtower is a small, interesting museum with information about Beijing’s former city walls and gates. The watchtower also hosts the Red Gate Gallery, which houses some brilliant artwork.

Admission: ¥10 (to the watchtower). Open: 8:00-17:30.

Directions: The walls start directly east of Chongwenmen subway station. You can walk along the wall, through the park, from here to reach the watchtower at the far end.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去明城墙遗址公园,谢谢。 (Please take me to Ming City Walls Ruins Park. Thank you.)