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Dadu, also known as the Great Capital of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), was initially built in the fourth year of Zhiyuan (1267). It was rebuilt and expanded 9 years later. Dadu covered a land area of 60 square kilometers and had 11 city gates, all of which were made of earth.
It is said that the southern portion of the old city wall was not built in a straight line because of the 2 soul pagodas of Monk Haiyun and his disciple Monk Ke'an. The Yuan emperor Hubilie ordered the city wall to be built 30 steps away from the 2 pagodas.
All the sides of the city wall except the northern side, which has only 2 gates, have 3 gates. The eastern 3 gates (from north to south) are known as Guangxi Gate (today's He Ping Li Dong), Congren Gate (today's Dongzhi Gate), and Qibei Gate (today's Chaoyang Gate); the 3 southern gates (from east to west) are Wenming Gate, Lizheng Gate, and Shuncheng Gate; and the western 3 gates (from north to south) are Suqing Gate (today's Xue Yuan Nan Lu Xi), Heyi Gate (today's Xizhi Gate), and Pingzhe Gate (today's Fucheng Gate); and the northern 2 gates are Jiande Gate and Anzheng Gate.
The east and west sections of the Dadu city wall snaked inside what is today's Second Ring Road of Beijing. Also, the northern part of the city wall is now Dewai and Anwai Earth Wall Park of Beijing, and the southern portion of the city wall is south of today's Chang'an Avenue. The city wall ruins from Xueyuan Road in the east to Xibahe in the west have now been open as a public park.
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