Qi Guo Great Wall


Chinese: 山东
Pinyin: Shān dōng

Located in eastern China, Shandong Province has a temperate climate, with moist summers and dry, cold winters. Average temperatures are -5°C to 1°C (23°F to 34°F) in January and 24°C to 28°C (75°F to 82°F) in July. Annual precipitation is 550 to 950 millimeters (22 to 37 inches).

Shandong is home to the Qi Guo Great Wall. Built during the Warring States Period, and now about 2300 to 2500 years old, it is one of the oldest walls you will find in all of China. There are walls remaining from other Warring States built around the same time, but the Qi wall in Shandong is the longest, most complete, and best-preserved of the Warring States Great Walls by far.

The Qi State was a state during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. They built a wall along their southern border to protect against the Chu state to their south. The wall goes from its western end in Changqing Township in Shandong Province to its eastern end at Huangdao Island in Qingdao.

In the southeast of Qi state, between the Ji River and Tai Mountain, it was the essential fighting path for every state trying to attack Qi State.

The Qi State first built the western section of their wall during the Spring and Autumn Period. The western section was completed by 555 BC. In the beginning of the Warring States Period, the eastern section of the wall was built. In the middle of the Warring States Period, the center part of the wall was built. King Xuan maintained the whole Great Wall and united it between 319 BC and 300 BC. Finally, King Min maintained the Qi Great Wall between 300 BC and 283 BC. At that time, the entire Qi Great Wall was completed.

The wall has many areas with multiple lines of defense and the total of all walls is about 825 kilometers (513 miles). But a line following the most prominent relics from one end to the other comes to about 400 kilometers (250 miles). The Shandong Great Wall is located in mountainous terrain except for areas to the east, near the sea. The walls traverse a total of about 2300 mountains, many of them formidable.

Along the lines Qi State set up passes, fortresses, and beacon towers to form a systematic and complete military defense engineering project.

Qi State Great Wall
Photo by Kim Siefert

There were twelve important passes, namely Fangmen, Changchengpu, Nantianmen, Tianmenguan, Beimenguan, Jinyangguan, Huangshiguan, Qingshiguan, Chengzi, Mulingguan, Xifengguan, and Changdingguan.

Augmenting the walls and towers were over fifty fortresses. The most typical one is the village castle in Changqing District in Jinan. Most, but not all, fortresses are located on the north side of the wall. Remember that the north side of the wall, like the south side of the wall of Qin, Han, Ming, and other dynasties, was the “friendly” side. Many of the Shandong fortresses have visible remains, especially in western Weifang, Zibo, and eastern Jinan. Generally, they are located at high positions to afford protection and vision.

There are many beacon towers, including Jinyang Pass Tower, Tizi Mountain Beacon Tower, Yangjiashan Beacon Tower, Wannan Beacon Tower, Nantianmen Beacon Tower, Xijian Beacon Tower, Mulingguan Beacon Tower, Majiawan South Mountain Beacon Tower, Changchenling Beacon Tower, Dashan Beacon Tower, Fengtaiding Beacon Tower, and Yujia River Beacon Tower. There are also watch towers along the wall. One span of the wall near Badou has some ten towers within a distance of about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles).

The construction style and features of the Qi State Great Wall are tailored to suit local circumstances. The design goals were to fully utilize the terrain to the best advantage, and to obtain materials locally. Locally-sourced materials such as stone, granite, sand, soil, limestone, and so forth were used to build the walls. Terrain utilization meant that in some places, steep mountains were used as natural barriers instead of building walls, one of the best examples being the famous Tai Mountain.

Shandong Province is divided into seventeen prefecture-level divisions. The Qi Great Wall goes through eight of them.

The eastern end of the wall is in Qingdao (Tsingtao) City at the sea. The original tower at the wall's end was built of rammed earth. This tower has been completely destroyed for a modern construction project. About 100 meters (330 feet) away, at 35°59'36.5"N 120°10'23"E, a monument was built in the shape of brick beacon tower.

Five separate locations have seen recent rebuilding of short spans of the Qi wall; two in Zibo, one in Laiwu, one in Jinan, and one at the Big Peak Mountain tourist attraction in Tai'an.

Restored Qi Great Wall at Jinyang Pass in Laiwu
Photo by Kim Siefert

The path of wall leads to the west from its beginning and crosses over the southern end of Qingdao for 68 kilometers (42 miles). Relics of the wall are visible for 53 kilometers (33 miles) of those 68 kilometers (42 miles) and there are a few relics of beacon towers as well.

Leaving Qingdao, the wall crosses over into Weifang, where the original path of the wall covers 50 kilometers (31 miles) with 38 kilometers (24 miles) of walls remaining today.

The wall then continues into Rizhao. Here the original path of the wall took two separate lines totaling some 75 kilometers (47 miles) in length. 34 kilometers (22 miles) of walls remain in Rizhao today. On the first line from Yangting Mountain, 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) from Sanleng Mountain, there is a span of 200 meters (660 feet) of wall which is in very good condition.

The wall then follows along the border between Linyi and Weifang, where there are two primary layers of wall with a total length of about 133 kilometers (82.6 miles). About 104 kilometers (64.6 miles) of walls can be found today.

Then the wall leaves Linyi and Weifang and enters Zibo. Across Zibo, the path of the wall is about 158 kilometers (98 miles), and there are about 41 kilometers (25.5 miles) of relics extant.

In the western side of Weiping Mountain, of Boshan District, Zibo, there is a section repaired during the Qing Dynasty in 1861.

At the Black Mountain tourist attraction in Zibo, there is a span of 300 meters (984 feet) of newly rebuilt Great Wall near Badou Tower.

The Phoenix Mountain in Zibo is a tourist attraction including rebuilt Great Wall based on the Qi wall relics. It is about 600 meters (1970 feet) long, 1 meter (3 feet) to 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) wide, and 2 meters (6.5 feet) to 4 meters (13 feet) high with two beacon towers. Phoenix Mountain also has one gate pass, a cove for hiding soldiers, and battlements. The wall is 5.5 meters (18 feet) wide and 6 meters (20 feet) high.

Well-preserved Qi Great Wall
Photo by Kim Siefert

Leaving Zibo, the wall follows the border between Jinan to the north and first Laiwu, then Tai'an to the south. There is a double line of wall along this section. All in all, Jinan, Laiwu, and Tai'an had about 296 kilometers (184 miles) of walls, and about 243 meters (797 feet) of relics remain today.

On the western side of Jinyang Pass on the Jinan–Laiwu border is the best preserved section of the Qi State Great Wall. It was repaired during the Qing Dynasty in 1861 and was used to defend against the Lian Military threatening from the south. It is 756 meters (2480 feet) long, 3 meters (10 feet) to 6 meters (20 feet) high, and 1.8 meters (6 feet) to 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide with 190 battlements. Ruined in the anti-Japanese wear in 1938, the spot is now used for a road. There are three old castles in the Jinyong Pass area. There are also beacon tower relics. The eastern side of Jinyang pass is also in very good condition.

Between Yuezi and Shuangyaozi villages, there are old architecture relics and damaged steles. From north of Haotan, the Great Wall has a constant and complete double size wall 610 meters (2000 feet) long and one meter (3 feet) wide and 1.5 meters (5 feet) to 2 meters (6.5 feet) high. There was a castle on the top of Beidatong Mountain of Wangmitai village. The area is about 6000 square meters (65,000 square feet) with double walls. Inside there are stone rooms and wells along with other artifacts.

In Feicheng City of Tai'an, the wall starts from the western mountain of Yujiazhuang in the west and ends at Lianhuapen Mountain. It is 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) long and crosses 48 mountains. This wall is generally easy to find and is nearly continuous today, though its condition varies greatly.

In Lichang District of Jinan, the wall starts from Liushankou and ends at Sijieshou. This wall is 39 kilometers (24 miles) long and goes across 95 mountain peaks. This span contains 21 kilometers (13 miles) of visible relics. Some of them are substantial and are good for walking.

In Daiyue District of Tai'an, the eastern section of the wall in Tai'an, the wall starts at Huangjia Mountain to the northeast of the main peak of Tai Mountain. There are three sections in this area with a well-kept wall made of red granite.

The wall originally ended in western Jinan, at Guanglicun of Changqing District, at 36°21'6"N 116°34'5"E. Before 1958, there was a six to eight meter (20 to 26 foot) high earth wall. In 1978, the remaining relics were destroyed during some construction work. The closest remains are now about 1.75 kilometers (1.1 miles) to the east of this location.

Qi Great Wall at Jinyang Pass
Photo by Kim Siefert

Location summary: Shandong is about 393 kilometers (244 miles) south of downtown Beijing.

Driving directions: From Beijing, drive southeast on G2 for 461 kilometers (286 miles) from the 6th ring road to Jinyangguan, which is just beyond Jinan.

Qi Great Wall

Statistics of the Qi Guo wall from a recent onsite survey

LocationPLCFromToMeters totalFeet totalMeters relicsFeet relicsPeaks
Changqing District main line Jinan Guanglicun of Xiaolitang Liushankou 87,970288,615 275
Changqing District second line Jinan 9,900 32,480 19
Changqing District total 79,164259,724
Feicheng City Tai'an Western Mtn of Yujiazhuang Lianhuapen Mtn 17,05055,938 17,00055,774 48
Daiyue District western sectionTai'an Lianhuapen Mtn Wuhuayen Mtn 4,000 13,123
Daiyue District eastern sectionTai'an Huangjia Mtn 119 390
Daiyue District total 29,07995,404 120
Taishan District Tai'an Dingtou Cliff Huangjia Mtn 17,10056,102 (few) 38
Lichang District Jinan Liushankou Sijieshou 38,659126,83420,82968,337 95
Laiwu City main line Laiwu East Mtn of Haotan Shuangdui Mtn 56,390185,007
Laiwu City second line Laiwu Tizi Mtn of Qingshi Pass Paotai Mtn at eastern Qingshi Pass4,350 14,272
Laiwu City total Laiwu 46,885153,822200
Zhangqiu City Jinan Sijieshou Pilijian Mtn 60,040196,98249,825163,468192
Boshan District main line Zibo Pilijian Mtn Dayuding 72,684238,465
Boshan District second line Zibo Wanglu Mtn Tizi Mtn 2,350 7,710
Boshan District total Zibo 20,85068,406 212
Zichuan District Zibo Weiping Mtn Taiping Mtn 40,450132,7108,530 27,986 137
Yiyuan County Zibo Taiping Mtn Lupigu Mtn 42,104138,13611,80038,714 105
Linqu County main line Weifang702 Highland Shaojiayu Mtn 54,620179,199
Linqu County second line WeifangBogentui Mtn Taiping Mtn 6,840 22,441
Linqu County total Weifang 43,490142,684156
Yishui County line 1 Linyi Taibo Mtn Lu County border 49,850163,550
Yishui County line 2 section 1 Linyi Taiping Mtn Anqiu City border 12,30040,354
Yishui County line 2 section 2 Linyi Wu River Sanleng Mtn 9,350 30,676
Yishui County total Linyi 61,150200,623130
Anqiu City WeifangTaiping Mtn Wu River 46,550152,72339,000127,95375
Lu County Rizhao Yangting Mtn, Guangguang MtnSanleng Mtn 14,60047,900 8,330 27,329 17
Wulian County Rizhao Houyu River Sanjieshi in Zhucheng City 60,550198,65526,50086,942 124
Zhucheng City western section WeifangQiangkuang Dongyunmen western village
Zhucheng City eastern section WeifangMaer Mountain Shijiakuang
Zhucheng City total Weifang 49,850163,55038,520126,378146
Jiaonan City QingdaoShijiakuang Chouhou Mountain 52,300171,58842,650139,928153
Huangdao District QingdaoZaying Mountain East Yujia River at the sea 15,80051,837 10,45034,285 62