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Yanmenguan Pass

Last updated by fabiowzgogo at 2016/1/20

The circumference of the city of Yanmen Pass is over one kilometers and the height of the city wall is 2 Zhang (about 4 meters).

The basement of Yanmen Pass is made of stones and the body is made by bricks, strong and stately. Yanmen Pass has three gates, namely, east gate, west gate and a north-south little north gate which is outside of west gate. Three big characters “Yan Men Guan” are carved in a horizontal tablet over north gate, and there is a pair of couplets on both sides of the Mosaic “Yanmen Pass is matchless among three passes, and it is the first of nine fortresses”. Now the remained ones are parts of Pass City and three pass gates.

Yanmen Pass is the largest one in “outside three passes”. Nearby ridges and peaks stand straight up and cliffs and ravines are mirthless; there is a dangerous winding path pass through Pass City. It was well defended in ancient times. There are two Guangwu cities under the pass in the north of Yanmen Mountain for defense. The old city was built in the Liao and Jin Dynasties with three gates, 300 meters from the east to the west and 500 meters from the south to the north. The existing city walls are well preserved. The new city and Pass City were built against mountains at the same time, close to the north mouth of Yanmen Pass; the circumference of the cities is 1.5 kilometers, a half one located in mountain waist and the other half one in the proluvial fan of mountain front. North Pass was built outside of North Gate. Besides, there are three big stone walls, twenty-five small stone walls and eighteen passes to improve defense power outside of Yanmen Pass. The inner great wall in the Ming Dynasty crosses the north of Yanmen Pass, connecting with each other to form a solitary defense system. Now the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty is only the historical remains.

Yanmen Pass was a well-known old battle field in history. From the earliest Hun, Xianbei, Turkic to the subsequent Qidan, Nvzhen, Mongolia and other northern nomads carried out many wars with the Han Dynasty.

There is a “the first pavilion in Yanmen” in the south of Yanmen Pass-Dai Couny. It faces Yanmen Pass directly and is the first pavilion to protect Yanmen Pass, so it hence gets the name. It is the existing largest wood structured pavilion in China, a great in northern relics. The pavilion was built in the first period of the Ming Dyansty like Yanmen Pass, ruined in a fire, rebuilt after twelve years and it was repaired in the Qing Dynasty. The pavilion is 40 meters high, as wide as 7 rooms and as deep as 5 rooms, surrounded by corridors. The pedestal of the pavilion is vaulted; the rest is three-layer building with four eaves; two huge tablets are hung on the top of the pavilion, “its reputation reaches everywhere” are inscribed on the south tablet and “ frighten three passes” on the north one. The pavilion looks magnificent. Seen from far away, Gouzhu Mountian in the north is vast and luxuriant, Yanmen Pass at the foot of Gouzhu Mountain is like a couched beast; the Wutai Mountain in the south tower to sky; the Hutuo River flows from the northeast to the southwest, winding like a ribbon. The beautiful landscapes are ravishing. 

Solo Adventure Tips:


How to Get There?
1. there is an intersection which is four thousand meters from the scenic area located in the Highway from Datong to Taiyuan. There is a bus pass every 15 minutes. It takes 2 or 3 hours to Taiyuan, Datong or Wutai Mountain. And the price is about 20 yuan. 2. The intersection is about 4,000 meters away from the gate of the scenic area. There are some motor tricycles to carry tourists uphill to Pass City and the price for round trip is about 15 yuan. It will take you one hour or so to get there on foot. 3. You can also take a taxi in Dai County. The distance is about 35 kilometers and the one way ticket is around 30 yuan.

Ticket Price:

Opening Hours:
8:30 a.m.-17:30 p.m.

More Tips:
Recommended Time: three hours

Information accuracy:

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