Xiangyang Ancient City Wall – Highlights and Location

xiangyang ancient city wall

The ancient city wall of Xiangyang (襄阳古城墙), initially constructed during the early Han Dynasty (specific date unknown), has undergone numerous renovations while retaining its magnificent and imposing stature. Roughly square in shape, it stands as a testament to ancient Chinese architectural prowess and urban planning. Within its precincts lie notable structures such as Zhongxuan Tower (commonly known as Huixian Tower) and Kuixing Tower in the southeast corner, Lion Tower in the southwest corner, and Lady City in the northwest corner, all reflecting the architectural style and planning concepts of the Ming Dynasty.

During the early years of the Ming Hongwu reign, Duke Wei Deng Yu defended Xiangyang. He not only refurbished the old city but also expanded the northeastern corner of the city wall to the riverside, adding two new gates (Great North Gate, and Chang Gate, also known as Zhenhua Gate) in addition to the existing four gates. Each gate was accompanied by a tower (with only the tower at Small North Gate surviving to this day).

The city was fortified with six gates: Yangchun Gate (阳春门)in the east, Wenchang Gate (文昌门) in the south, Xicheng Gate (西成门) in the west, Linhan Gate (临汉门) at Xiao Bei Men, Gongchen Gate (拱宸门) at Da Bei Men, and Zhenhua Gate (震华门) at Dong Chang Men. Beyond each gate stood a walled city, with additional subsidiary cities outside the walls of the East, South, and West gates. Drawbridges (later replaced by stone bridges) were constructed outside the walled cities and subsidiary cities.

With a circumference of 7,311 meters, the city wall forms an almost square perimeter, standing at a height of 10.84 meters and a thickness ranging from 11 to 14 meters. To the east, west, and south, the wall is flanked by protective moats approximately 180 to 250 meters wide and 4 to 8 meters deep, connecting to the Han River on the northern side. Due to its formidable height, solid construction, wide and deep moats, and the natural defenses provided by the surrounding terrain, Xiangyang earned the moniker “Ironclad Xiangyang.”

Location and Transportation

The Xiangyang ancient city wall is located at 128 Beijie, Xiangcheng District, Xiangyang City, on the southern bank of the Han River, Hubei Province. You can take bus 6, 8, 13, 24, 28, 29, 512, 517, 532, D51, G03, K15, or K3, get off at Shizi Street Stop (十字街站), and walk about 800 meters to the northwest to get there.

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