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Ancient China

China is an old country with a long history. Old traditions combine with the new modern life. So new big skyscrapers stay between ancient buildings. Culture and traditions combine in every part of China. For example in the architecture. China is an unique country. Not only the language but also the way of life is uniquely. It is fascinating to intrude in this world. In the restaurants are sitting the business man while peasants walk up and down the street with their bamboo bars to carry goods. Poor and rich lays house to house. It seems that just one more step will lead in the gorgeous world of wealth. But this step is unreachable for many.

An superlative spectacle is the Great Wall of China. It was enlisted in the World Heritage by Unesco in 1987. The Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus – just like a gigantic dragon. Approximately 6700 kilometers (4163 miles) long. The Wall’s history reach over 2000 years in the past. Now some sections of the Great Wall are in ruins or disappeared. However, the Wall is still a significant relic for China and the whole world.


The Legend of Widows’ Tower

West of the Taipingzhai Great Wall of Tianjin Municipality is a spectacular square beacon tower of stone,widely called the "Widows' Tower". Built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the "Widows' Tower" is the best-preserved beacon tower among the fifty-twoof its kind in Jixian County of Tianjin. It is unique among the beacon towers of the Huangyaguan Pass because of its solemn and sorrowful story.

Qi Jiguang, a distinguished strategist and a national hero, had been given an order to supervise a group of soldiers from Henan Province to build the Huangyaguan Pass of the Great Wall. When twelve of his soldiers had not gone back to their hometown for many years, the soldiers' wives became very anxious and worried. So the wives had decided to look for their husbands. As they reached Jizhen Garrison (the present-day Jixian County of Tianjin), heavy news came to them that their husbands had already died during the construction. They all became widows. They had mourned and cried bitterly in front of the tombs of their husbands.

When Qi Jiguang had passed by the construction site, he comforted them and gave them pensions as compensation for the death of their husbands. He had hoped that they would cheer up and go back to their hometown to take care of their children and parents. However, the women had made a big decision not to return. They had donated their pensions to the construction project. They had chosen to stay and continue with the construction of the Great Wall that their husbands had started. Moved by the widows' steadfast spirits, Qi Jiguang had agreed and supported them. So the women had joined in the construction of the Great Wall. They built a beacon tower on the top of the mountain, which was named the "Widows' Tower" in memory of these brave and loyal wives.

During the recent reconstruction, some ornaments like thimbles and hairpins were discovered, which proved that women had once lived and had been part of the construction of the Great Wall.

This remarkable story tells us of a true example of the spirit of making unselfish contributions to the country, that when individual interests are in contradiction with that of our country, we should set the interests of our country first before that of our own.


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