Launch of the Great Wall cultural festival in Beijing, revealing a 400-kilometer scenic route

Tourists visit a defensive tower along the Great Wall in Beijing’s Huairou district. Photo: IC

Beijing Great Wall Cultural Festival 2022 Photo: Lin Xiaoyi/GT

The opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Great Wall Cultural Festival kicked off in Beijing’s Gubei Water Town on Saturday, revealing a thrilling 400-kilometre-long “Great Wall Scenic Route” that includes the key scenic spot of the city, the Great Wall of Simatai – one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

The newly introduced scenic route is called “Jingji Great Wall”. “Jingji” refers to Beijing and its surroundings. The project aims to connect the different sections of the Great Wall at the national level that span the six districts of Beijing, such as Miyun, Yanqing and Huairou, connecting along a single route.

The Jingji Great Wall site will also become a Great Wall-themed cultural tourism hub with 39 3A-level (or higher) tourist attractions, five national-level tourism demonstration areas and two tourism consumption agglomeration areas. as well as 19 national-level rural areas. tourist attractions.

Liu Bin, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, noted at the opening ceremony that the project is a symbolic part of the establishment of the Great Wall National Culture Park, a national-level park. which is expected to be completed in 2035 to promote The Culture of the Great Wall of China.

The proposed construction of a 400-kilometer “Great Wall Scenic Route” means that in the future, we will not only protect the cultural heritage itself, but also pay attention to all the landscape features around of the Great Wall, which broaden the conservation topics of the Great Wall and broaden the scope of research work. Shang Heng, a researcher at the Beijing Archaeological Research Institute, told the Global Times.

Bi Jianyu, director of the Heritage Division of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage, told the Global Times that in addition to the Jingji Great Wall plan, the 2022 festival has specially opened a section for the public to view the results. efforts to preserve the country’s cultural relics. .

Since 2018, the pilot work of introducing archaeological excavation methods for the protection and repair of the Great Wall has been carried out through projects such as renovation and research projects along the Dazhuangke section and Jiankou sections. of the Great Wall in Yanqing and Huairou districts. . In addition, 17 Great Wall protection projects are currently underway in Beijing.

“It reflects the fact that we are currently making the protection of the Great Wall a top priority,” Bi noted.

Interdisciplinary research and digital innovation are two other creative facets fueling China’s efforts to conserve and promote the culture of the Great Wall.

Chen Mingjie, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage, told the media that through close cooperation in areas such as materials science, structural mechanics and botany, they are promoting a new way of conservation and repair of the Great Wall.

China’s leading digital giant, Tencent, has also contributed to these efforts through the online project “Cloud Visits to the Great Wall”, which allows users to “walk through” the Great Wall on their mobile devices.

The projects mark the first time that an immersive and interactive digital restoration of the Great Wall has been presented using cloud technology.

Other digital preservation efforts also include collaborative research with China’s Tianjin University to establish a three-dimensional database. In addition, the Great Wall Environmental Vibration Disaster Cloud Monitoring Technology Library was co-launched with Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture.

“Such digital preservation efforts are important for promoting culture abroad without being limited by geography or cultural differences. Moreover, they are important scientific attempts to preserve ancient Chinese culture for our future generations. Xu Suming, a cultural relics expert, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The festival will include Great Wall tours as well as Great Wall-themed photo exhibitions, antique market, Gubei Great Wall Temple Fair and photography exhibitions and other cultural activities. .

“To guide the public from ‘watching the attractions’ to ‘personally experiencing the culture,’ the festival has become an important way to enhance people’s sense of happiness and fulfillment,” Bi noted.

“The Great Wall is a magnificent architectural marvel and a cultural landscape unparalleled in human history,” Shang noted.

Darcy J. Skinner