The Walls Today

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Photographs from Nanjing's Walls

The walls were made primarily of brick and each brick was stamped with the name and location of the producer for quality control enforcement.  Here are two examples:

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Brick One    Brick Two

On the west side, the Ming walls were built on the foundations of the old Han dynasty walls around Shitoucheng.  Here are some photos of that section:

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Map of the area around Qingliang Hill today
(the walls lay somewhere inside the shaded area)

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View of the Ming bricks on top of Han era stones

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Ming wall along the top of the hill

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Another view in the same area

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Section of the wall just to the south of the hill at Shitoucheng

One of the reasons the wall has such an odd shape is because it was deliberately designed to enclose Lion Hill with it's strategic position overlooking the Yangtze River.  Here is a photo of the hill and the pavilion that was under construction there in 2000-2001.  Note that the city walls were also undergoing extensive rennovation

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View from the north

Generally speaking the walls are surrounded by a moat.  In many places this moat is a rerouted river.  Here is a photo of part of the moat on the west side just south of Yijiangmen.

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Looking south from near Yijiangmen

In addition to the large gates, a number of sluice gates were made to allow water to flow into and out of the city.  In the past century a number of new gates were cut into the walls.  Here is a small one cut in the southeast corner of the wall.

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Looking in from the outside with the moat to your back

Probably the most visited stretch of wall is the section between Jiefangmen, and running along the south shore of Xuanwu Lake to Sanzang Pagoda.  Here are some photos of the wall there:

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Section of the wall just outside Jiefangmen

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View looking east along the top of the wall toward Sanzang Pagoda

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View of the drop from the top of the wall to the shore of the lake

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Section where houses used to stand right up against the wall

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View of the outside further north near Xuanwumen

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View from the inside down an alley in a neighborhood just west of Xuanwu Lake

The wall is undergoing rennovation in many places.  Here is an example from the southwest section near Jiqingmen.

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View from the west

Here is a panoramic view of the southwest corner of the wall and its moat

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View from outside the wall