Travelogue: Explore ruins of the Great Wall, explore ancient Chinese warfare
By Megan Zhang, Liu Zhenshuo
00:53

For centuries, the Ningxia region was the frontier that separated imperial China from nomadic tribes to the north, such as the Mongols. The Great Wall was built to protect China from foreign invaders, and stretches of that famous barrier still exist today in Ningxia. 

The Great Wall was the boundary that separated imperial China from nomadic tribes. /CGTN Photo

The Great Wall was the boundary that separated imperial China from nomadic tribes. /CGTN Photo

The Great Wall in Ningxia was constructed throughout various periods in history, with each time leaving behind sites with different architectural styles. Stretches of the wall have fallen victim to damage brought on by time and weather, and many have been reduced to little more than bumps in the ground. However, a portion of the fortifications built during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) still stands today.

It is clear these two different ruins of the Great Wall were established during different periods. /CGTN Photo

It is clear these two different ruins of the Great Wall were established during different periods. /CGTN Photo

The section of the Great Wall at Sanguankou is perhaps the most well-recognized pass in Ningxia. Located approximately 25 miles west of Yinchuan, Sanguankou stretches along the border between Ningxia and Inner Mongolia, south of the Helan Mountain. Helankou Pass, once a military stronghold in present-day Helan County, is another recognizable stretch of the wall. Cliff carvings can be seen here, believed to be engraved by generals and soldiers to record the renovation of the pass. 

Barracks were scattered all along the Great Wall. /CGTN Photo

Barracks were scattered all along the Great Wall. /CGTN Photo

Like much of Ningxia, the Great Wall is suffering from desertification. The rammed earth fortifications are being destroyed by wind, rain, and human activities, and due to their remote and poor location, the walls are not as well protected as their counterparts in Beijing.

Explore Ningxia with Tianran He, host of Travelogue on CGTN. The show broadcasts on Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Mondays 2:00 a.m. and Thursdays 1:30 p.m. (Beijing Time).

815km