Zijinguan Pass is located at the top of Zijin Mountain, in Yixian County, southwest of Beijing. There is currently no record of when the pass was originally built. Historians only know that the pass was called Wuyuan Pass in the East Han Dynasty. It was later renamed for the red bud trees growing in the mountain. Extensive restoration and reconstruction was made during the Ming Dynasty. This pass is one of the three most important passes in heartland China. The other two are Juyong Pass and Daoma Pass.
The structures visitors see today were built during the Ming Dynasty. The original pass was equipped with 4 gates. It had walls on the east, west and north sides. The north wall overlooks the Juma River, creating an impenetrable stronghold.
Zijinguan Pass is significant in Chinese history. Since it is one of the two passes to heartland China from the North of the Great Wall, the northern tribes had to capture this pass to enter central China. According to historical documents, around 140 battles were fought here. Zijinguan Pass never really did fulfill its function as an impenetrable defense fortification. The northern nomads often passed around or broke through it during raids. Good examples were the Mongolians and Manchurians who first took over this pass and then swept over the whole country. Nevertheless, the pass was coveted by generations of ambitious politicians and militarists who openly fought for it.
Glints and flashes of swords and spears; flames and explosions of wars have all become historical images. Military functions of the strong and high pass had died out. Today the pass serves as a precious cultural and historical relic.
Zijinguan Pass is a famous tourist attraction now.