Even under water, the Great Wall gets a makeover

China Daily | Updated: 2021-10-19 09:36
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An aerial view of the construction site in the middle of the Panjiakou Reservoir in Hebei province, on June 18. ZHAO JIE/FOR CHINA DAILY

Challenging five-year project in Hebei province should be finished by the end of this year

The Panjiakou section of the Great Wall in Tangshan city, Hebei province, was built in the 1380s during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In the 1970s, part of it was flooded during the construction of the Panjiakou Reservoir, which resulted in the unique sight of a section of the Great Wall underwater.

Fluctuating water levels caused by seasonal changes have resulted in the submerged section becoming badly eroded. "Our workload increases as the water level falls," said Meng Qi, an expert at the Hebei Ancient Architecture Conservation and Research Institute.

In June, he and a team of workers began repairing a section of the dilapidated wall, which had been exposed by falling water levels. They carried out hasty repairs and tried to finish their work before the rainy season.

Zhang Yong, a senior engineer at the institute, is responsible for the project. Funded by the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation, repair work started in September 2016 and encompasses three watchtowers and two stretches of the Panjiakou section of the Great Wall, a total length of 1,005 meters. The project will be completed this year.

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