About Baimaguan Fort
Baimaguan Fort is a fort in the village of Fanzipai north of Beijing, China. Built during the Ming Dynasty under the Yongle emperor, little remains of this once-great fort.
The characters Bai Ma Guan Fort are inscribed on a stone tablet above the arch. The tablet is somewhat different from those found at other forts, in that the 4 characters are arranged vertically in 2 lines: ‘Bai Ma’ (meaning ‘white horse’) on the right and ‘Guan Bao’ (meaning ‘pass’) on the left.
Baimaguan Fort history
Baimaguan Fort was built during the period of the Yongle emperor between 1402 and 1424 of the Ming Dynasty. The fort consisted of 500 guards and beacon towers, and along with Qiangzilu Fort and Gubeikou Fort, these fortifications offered additional defence along China’s northern front in the face of ever-increasing Mongol attacks.
Baimaguan Fort today
Today, little of the original structure at Baimaguan Fort has remained except for the south gate – an arched gate, 120 meters wide and 80 meters deep. What is left of the Great Wall at Baimaguan Fort is not repaired and hard to access, built on steep mountain cliffs.
According to local legends, a fierce white hose lived in the region. One day, Yang Yanzhou (who lived between 958 and 1014) a famous Song Dynasty general, tamed the horse and from then on rode the horse into battle.
The general left the horse on the Great Wall to trick invading Liao soldiers into thinking Yanzhou and his army were waiting for them. A statue of the white horse now stands by the gate.
Getting to Baimaguan Fort
The Baimaguan Fort’s remains are on the east bank of the Baimaguan River. County level road X008 follows the Baimaguan River through the mountains about 20 km south to Miyun Reservoir. A further 30 km south on prefecture level roads is Miyun Town.
Baimaguan is 100 km north of central Beijing (almost 2 hours by taxi) or 50 km north of Miyun (1 hour by taxi). You can also take bus 980 at Dongzhimen to Miyun and then a Fanzipai bus, getting off at Baimaguan.
The Baima Pass section of the Great Wall is between the Mutianyu and Gubeikou sections.