China Great Wall Museum

The Great Wall

This sizeable museum blusters through a history of the Wall, from its origins as an earthen embankment in the far-off Qin dynasty (221–207 BC) to the Ming-era battlements you see today. There are decent English captions, and enthusiasts will appreciate the sections on warfare.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Great Wall attractions

1. Badaling

0.25 MILES

Historically a strategic portal between the fertile lands of the capital and the more arid plains beyond, Badaling has been called the ‘Key to Northern…

2. Kāng Líng

10.85 MILES

The tomb of the Zhengde Emperor, who reigned from 1506–21. It's not open for visitors.

3. Tài Líng

11.45 MILES

The tomb of the Hongzhi Emperor (1470–1505). Not open for visitors.

4. Sī Líng

11.65 MILES

Si Ling is the tomb of the last of the Ming emperors, Chongzhen, who hanged himself at Coal Hill – today's Jingshan Park – as rebels stormed the gates of…

5. Zhāo Líng

11.8 MILES

The Longqing Emperor, 12th of the Ming Dynasty, only managed a six-year shift on the Dragon Throne before he was entombed here, along with three empresses…

6. Dìng Líng

11.98 MILES

Of all the Ming tombs, this is the only one to have been excavated, and visitors can descend into the enormous burial chambers of the Wanli Emperor (1563…

7. Mào Líng

12.11 MILES

The 15th-century tomb of the Chenghua Emperor. Not open for visitors.

8. Museum of the Ming Tombs

12.23 MILES

Housed in several buildings at Dìng Líng, some of which were closed for renovation at time of research, this museum displays a selection of items…