Dashuhua-- Hebei Attractions
Yu County, Zhangjiakou features large sections of preserved city walls, though it may take some time getting out to the edges of town.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓It"s said that Yu County"s walls are replicas of Beijing"s old city walls, with more than 24 watchtowers and at least 1,000 crenels.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓The city walls broad enough for people to walk on it. Some parts are in good condition, with bricks set in neat rows; other parts aren"t as safe, with broken stones and dirt everywhere.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓Several trees and other plants grow on the walls. An archway was built in one part of the wall so that residents can walk through town
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓Nuanquan Ancient Town
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓Yu County once was reputed to have 800 fortresses - nearly every village had a fort. More than 200 fortresses have been preserved, scattered throughout the county. One of the most representative fortresses is Xigu Bu in Nuanquan Ancient Town.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓Nuanquan, or warm spring, is located in the western part of the county. It was built in Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) and developed into an important town during the Ming and Qing (1368-1911). Its name derives from a spring that never freezes over during winter.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓There are eight ancient forts in Nuanquan Town, with Zhongxiao Bu, Xigu Bu and Beiguan Bu as the oldest.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓Xigu Bu, or West Ancient Fort, is the best preserved. It was built during the Ming Dynasty, with a high arch over the gateway, delicate brick carvings, woodcarvings and colorful paintings. Many movies are filmed here.
茫鈧偓茫鈧偓Another treasure of Nuanquan Town is Dashuhua, which is the process of melting iron to produce sparkles on the city walls. The technique was invented more than 300 years ago, doing for walls what blossoms do for trees. It was traditionally done during Spring Festival - a nice complement to lanterns - to celebrate the harvest.