Nanjing City Walls

The Nanjing City Walls, the majority of which is still standing, were the longest city walls in the world at 33km. They were built under Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, from 1366-86 and drew on the foundations of old Tang Dynasty walls in the south and west while the eastern and northern sections were newly built. The walls travel an irregular path (unlike the square walls of Beijing or Xian), designed to take advantage of natural phenomena and the pre-existing walls. Composed entirely of brick, the walls averaged 14m in height, 14m in width at the base and 5m in width at the top.

There are numerous places to see the walls. A couple of pleasant walks include the stretch along the outside of the wall from Changle Lu to Zhonghua (near the Fuzimiao area). Another pristine picturesque stretch is around the southern and western sides of Xuanwu Lake.

The walls can be ascended at Zhonghua Gate (see the next page) and at Jiefang Gate (¥15 entrance), near Jiming Temple.