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'The Piano Guys' scales the Great Wall for video shoot

Internet sensation, the Piano Guys are in China. The Utah-based group took some precious time off their Asian tour in Singapore and Malaysia to fulfil their China dream - shooting a music video on the Great Wall of China...

September 16, 2013
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Great Wall Forest Festival kicks off

The 2013 Yanqing Great Wall Forest Festival, the fourth edition of its kind, was held from August 24 to August 25 in the Tanglewood Music Valley at the foot of the Great Wall Badaling Section in Beijing's Yanqing County...

August 29, 2013
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Jet Team above the Great Wall

Aircraft of Breitling Jet Team, a famous European aerobatic team, perform above the Great Wall of the Jiayuguan Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 13, 2013...

August 16, 2013
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Unique section of the Great Wall draws in visitors

As people all know what the Great Wall looks like but did you know that some of it is built over water? The Jiumenkou section of the wall in Liaoning Province in North East China is famous for just that...

  August 09, 2013
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The Great Wall Stories and Legends

The sad story of Meng Jiang Nu

According to Chinese legend, the Meng family - consisting of an old childless couple, lived next door to the Jiang family - also an old childless couple - in Jiangnan. One year, Old Man Meng planted a gourd vine. The vine grew over to the neighbors' side of the fence and bore a gourd there. The Jiang and Meng families decided to split the gourd. When they cut the gourd in half, the old people found a chubby girl child inside. The childless old folk were surprised and delighted. Both the Meng family and the Jiang family wanted the child for their own and started arguing over her. After mediation by neighbors, it was decided that this daughter would belong to both families. She was named Meng Jiang Nu, ("nu" means woman) and the two families raised her together.

When Meng Jiang was grown, she decided to marry a young man named Fan Xiliang. Unfortunately, on their wedding day, soldiers came to take Xiliang away to build the Great Wall. The life of a forced laborer on the Great Wall was rife with deprivation and starvation. When a year passed without any news from Xiliang, Meng Jiang decided to go look for him. She reached the Great Wall after an arduous journey only to be told by the conscripted laborers that Xiliang had been worked to death. The dead workers were buried under the Great Wall. Upon hearing this news, Meng Jiang began to wail loudly and hit the wall. A huge chunk of the Great Wall collapsed, revealing countless mounds of human bones. Meng Jiang Nu bit her own finger tip, testing each skeleton with her own blood, praying for a sign - if the skeleton absorbed the blood, it was her husband's. When she finally found Xiliang's bones, she clung on to them and wept.

The angry Emperor of Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. - 206 B.C.) came to survey the damage done to his project. But when he saw Meng Jiang, the cause of the damage, he was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. Meng Jiang said she would only marry him on three conditions - first, her former husband was to be given a grand burial; second, the emperor and his court must go into mourning for Xiliang; and third, she wanted to visit the ocean. Much as the emperor hated the idea of officially mourning a commoner, he agreed so he could gain this rare beauty. After Meng Jiang got her third wish, she scolded the Emperor bitterly and cast herself into the ocean. The Emperor sent his men to dredge the ocean but the waves chased them away. It so happened that the Dragon King of the Sea and his daughter the Dragon Princess felt sympathy for Meng Jiang and spirited her away to their underwater Dragon Palace. Then they commanded their army of shrimps and crabs to raise a storm, repelling the Emperor's men.

A Meng Jiang Nu temple dating back to medieval times still stands in Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province today.

The “Metal” Great Wall

In the suburb of Beijing, there exits a famous section of the Great Wall called Huang Hua Cheng (the yellow flower fortress). It was so named for the hills covered by yellow flowers in the summer.

An old story tells about the construction of this part of the wall. During the Ming dynasty, the emperor ordered a general named Cai Kai to build the Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Cai Kai paid painstaking efforts and spent several arduous years to finish this task. However, he was soon beheaded when the Emperor believed the backbites of some officials in court. Later, the emperor realized he had wronged Cai Kai after an official found the wall to be extraordinarily well-constructed.

Later, the emperor ordered to build a mausoleum for Cai Kai to commemorate his great project. At the same time, he had someone engrave "Jintang" (Metal Wall) into a rock to describe the sturdiness of this section of the Great Wall. Therefore, Huanghuacheng Wall is also referred to as Jintang Great Wall.

During the Second World War, the Japanese invaders tried very hard and eventually blew up one section of the Huang Hua Cheng Great Wall. The section collapsed into the lake nearby and you can still see today the Great Wall extending on both sides of the lake.

An interesting story about Jiayuguan

An old legend goes, when Jiayuguan was being planned, the officer in charge asked the designer to estimate the exact number of bricks required and the designer gave him a number. The general doubted the designer’s judgment, asking him if that would be enough, so the designer added one brick. When Jiayuguan was finished, there was only one brick left free, which was placed loose on one of the gates where it remains today. Nowadays, all the local guides would love to show you the extra brick left on the tower.

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