Badaling (simplified Chinese: 八达岭; traditional Chinese: 八達嶺; pinyin: Bādálǐng) is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northwest of urban Beijing city in Yanqing County, which is within the Beijing municipality. The portion of the wall running through the site was built in 1504 during the Ming Dynasty, along with a military outpost reflecting the location's strategic importance. The highest point of Badaling is Beibalou (北八樓), approximately 1,015 metres (3,330 ft) above sea level.
Badaling Great Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty (1505) to occupy a commanding and strategic position for protecting the Juyongguan Pass (Juyongguan section of the Great Wall ) on its south, further protecting the city of Beijing.
The portion of the wall at Badaling has undergone restoration, and in 1957 it was the first section of the wall to open to tourists. Now visited annually by millions, the immediate area has seen significant development, including hotels, restaurants, and a cable car. The recently completed Badaling Expressway connects Badaling with central Beijing. Line S2, Beijing Suburban Railway, served people who wanted to go to the Great Wall from Beijing North Railway Station. People can buy tickets at Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Station. A bus also runs frequently from Deshengmen to Badaling.
It was here that President Richard Nixon and his wife, accompanied by Vice Premier Li Xiannian, visited on February 24, 1972, during his historic journey to China. Many other world leaders have made a trip to the site including Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
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