National Geographic : 1920 Nov
THIE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE rnotograph by J. A. Muller A FLANKING TOWER ON TIHE BATTLEM ENTED WALLS OF PEKING The numerous window-like openings were designed for archers defending the city. Note the canopied Peking cart in the foreground. ious of the traffic on the near-by rails, their backs laden with merchandise as were the backs of pack-mules two thou sand years ago. THE SPELL OF Tg'Fi GREAT WALL OF CHINA Like so much in or near Peking, the Great Wall is at first disappointing. It is disappointingly small. It is, in places, only twenty feet high and as many broad, while the city wall of Peking is twice as high and, at the base, thrice as broad, with huge ten-storied watch-towers at each corner. When one stands close under the Pe king city wall it looms above with the massive grandeur of an abrupt high cliff; but when the traveler gets off the train at the Nankow Pass and sees the bit of wall scrambling up the hillside before him, he wonders why it is called "great." That, however, is only at first. lie has only to climb up out of the pass and fol low the wall for half an hour and he be gins to understand. Away it goes before him, and behind, up, up the topmost ridges of the hills bending, swinging, climbing, leaping like the supple, agile dragons of the palace garden screen. It undulates, it sways, it marches before, it takes the curve of the hills like a swift auto on a mountain road, on and on and on, across the farthest gully, beyond the farthest peak. Where the mountains blend into the clouds, there it is ; where the last horizon vanishes, it is there. One sits in the shadow of a watch tower and through its windows gets arch framed pictures of bulwarks and bastions and exultant curves; and he remembers that this wall was begun two hundred years before the birth of Christ, and was added to throughout the centuries, until it compassed fifteen hundred miles. In places of strategic importance, as here at the Nankow Pass, there were once five giant loops, with miles of coun try between, so that if one were taken the next might be defended; and every hundred yards there is a watch-tower.