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Shentang Valley

Updated:2008-06-06 10:03 | Source:

  It is located in Yanqi Town of Huairou District. Route: Go along the Huaifeng (Huairou to Fengning) Road, and turn left at the Yanqi Roundabout. It is a natural scenic spot including mountains, waters, ancient Great Wall and folk customs. It was opened to tourists since June 1993.

  Shentang Valley was originally named as Sparrow-hawk Valley. It was said that an old rhizotomist who passed here built a cottage and lived here after finding that there were full of medicinal herbs. He picked herbs every day and worked as a doctor for local people. Later the old man became a celestial being, so people changed the name of the valley to Shentang (which means celestial beings’ hall).

  Shentang Valley is divided into sightseeing district, Great Wall scenic spot, recreational district, folk customs and vacation district, and site education district. Guandi Village, the experimental new countryside of Beijing, is located inside the scenic spot. The main human landscape here is the ancient Great Wall, one of the main fortifications of Ming Great Wall, the second pass to the east of Qilian Pass. Stretching for seven kilometers, it is connected to Sima Station in the east, and Mutianyu Great Wall in the west, with more than 30 well preserved watch towers. The aquatic watch tower of 40 meters in length, 30 meters in width and 20 meters in height is located in the water of Shentang Valley Pass. Wangjing Tower and Beacon Fire Tower are on the mountains on both of its sides. The ancient castle, the place for stationing frontier soldiers, is a square type small city. It is 28 meters both in length and width, eight meters in height, occupying an area of 6400 square meters. There are still stone mortars that soldiers used to pound rice. The Shentang Valley Pass monument, stele and three copper guns are exhibited at the place where they were unearthed. The natural sights include three peaks, among which the main peak of Tianji is 875 meters high. The plantation coverage rate on the mountains is above 95%. In the dense forests, there are more than 100 kinds of animals, such as badger, roe, squirrel, berghaan and wild rabbits, etc. There are also more than 100 kinds of wild flowers and fruits, including Red Azalea, mountainous chrysanthemum, calceolaria, filbert, mountainous cherry, wild grapes, etc., scores of wild vegetables of bracken, magnolia shoots, agar, longevity vegetable, etc. and more than 100 kinds of herbals including Salvia miltiorrhiza, Corydalis bungeana, alpinia, phrymaceae, etc. There are more than 2000 mu of forests such as Chinese pines, mulberry, walnuts, hill haws, and Chinese chestnuts, etc. The sceneries in the valley include: Stone falls is a huge granite cliff of more than 100 square meters. Due to long years of washing by rains, it is very smooth, and looks like two still falls, thus is named as stone falls. With the sound like beating drums, the drum beating stone is a whole piece of huge stone of 17 meters in length and 15 meters in width. Local farmers always thrash grains on it. Rain praying stage of dragon pond is a huge stone, three meters in length and two meters in width, on top of the pond. In ancient times, people often came here to pray for rain when in drought. There are also sceneries such as Hat of Jigong, One-stone-three-scenes, Camel Summit, Lying Elephant Hall, Fairy Cave, Deity Tortoise, Mandarin-duck Pond, saint chanting sutras, sealed book stone, phoenix ridge, first falls of Saint Hall, Nuwa cottage, etc. There is the source of Yanqi River gathered by scores of springs. The river twists and turns, with the water discharge at 3-5 cubic meters per second and the temperature always at 15¡æ. In 1992, specialized department proved that there are beneficial components in the spring, including kalium, lithium, metasilicic acid, magnesium hydrogen bicarbonate, and it conforms to the grade 2 standard of drinking water. The springs flow down the mountains to form the sights of Dragon Pond, Mandarin-duck Pond, Crocodile Pond, and Yixian Pond, etc. The Dragon Pond Massacre took place during the Japanese invasion. A monument has been set up on the site, which was entitled as the patriotism education base by Beijing. Festival of Golden Autumn Leaf Appreciation and Picking is held every September and October.

  (Source: http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/Tour/ScenicSpots/)

Editor : Zhu Jia

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics