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Huludao, "Corridor of Western Liaoning"
    2007-01-03 17:19:55     CRIENGLISH.com
 

Though its name suggests it is an island, Huludao, or Calabash Island, is actually a narrow strip of land extending about 100 kilometers east to west along the western seashore of the Liaodong Gulf. Cartographically, the part that extends into the gulf resembles a calabash--hence, its name. Its topography has earned Huludao the nickname "corridor of western Liaoning," with the city providing access from the three northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning to central China and southeastern coastal areas.

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Now let's follow our guide, Manli, to visit Huludao.

Huludao has a long history, evident in the remains of a palace built by Qinshihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty some 22 centuries ago. Historical changes and social development have bestowed Huludao a great number of cultural relics, historic spots and natural sights. The world-famous Great Wall is here in the form of the Jiumenkou Great Wall section, which passes over water, as well as the ancient town of Xingcheng from the Ming Dynasty. The relics of Jieshi Palace is comparable to the Imperial Palace of Beijing. Jieshi Palace served as an imperial palace for the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty and Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty on their inspection tours and expeditions to the east. The gushing hot springs in Shengshui Temple, or literally Sacred Water Temple, burst forth all year round and pour into the Lotus Pond. Chrysanthemum Island, the largest island in Bohai Bay, used to be an important Buddhist retreat in northern China some 1,000 years ago. All these cultural relics possess unique features of their own and are described as "time-honored sights and historic spots."

Jiumenkou Great Wall is the only section of the Great Wall over water. It is located in Suizhong county in Huludao and is the eastern portion of the Jizhen Great Wall from the Ming Dynasty. The name Jiumenkou is derived from it crossing the Jiujiang River with nine water discharge city gates. Jiumenkou Great Wall is an important pass in the Great Wall and is nicknamed the "first pass east to Beijing."

Jiumenkou Great Wall was built in 1381 in the early Ming Dynasty. It extends over 1,700 meters from north to south and the Jiujiang River runs beneath the wall. The riverbed built with large square stones is more than 7,000 square meters under the wall bridge. Installed with 12 fighting towers, four watch towers and two balefire platforms, the Jiumenkou Great Wall depicts massive fortifications from centuries ago.

In 2002, this ancient masterpiece was listed as a world heritage site by extension, the first in northeastern China.

Xingcheng is an ancient town with rich cultural endowment known for its green hills, seascape, hot springs and islets. It is a key national-level scenic site and a provincial-level historic and cultural town. The ancient town of Xingcheng is double-walled, a tradition passed down from the Ming Dynasty some 500 years ago. Although its outer wall has collapsed over time due to erosion, the inner wall is in good shape after generations of maintenance and renovation.


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