Datong is located in a basin at an elevation of 1,040 metres (3,410 ft) and borders Inner Mongolia to the north and west and Hebei to the east. Datong has been the dividing line of farming civilization in the south and nomadic people in the north since ancient times.
The strategic important location made Datong one of the most important towns in the border area of the ancient China (until Inner Mongolia became part of China later). The Great Wall of Datong (section of the whole Great Wall) has a long history.
There are ruins of the Great Wall confirmed to be built in various periods and dynasties, such as the Warring States Period (475–221 BC) , Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), Han Dynasty (206 BC-220), Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
According to the Great Wall Survey released in 2009, there is a total of 343.149 kilometers of ancient great wall built in the Ming Dynasty within the Datong City.
The ancient Datong Great Wall was re-built and reinforced several times in history. In 2008, a section of the ancient Great Wall was renovated (as these photos are showing).
Since the early 1980s, the Chinese government has allocated special funds to restore this national monument to its magnificance in some parts, such as the sections at Badaling, Mutianyu, and other sites.
Even today, people are still amazed by the ancient Chinese’s persistence in constructing large scale projects and determination of protecting their country from wars and instabilities.
Photos from photo.cctv.com