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Jianmen pass on Ancient Sichuan Road

Since ancient times, the Jianmen Pass has been famous not only for the beauty of its steep slopes, but also for its strategic importance through the ages, ever since the pass was established by Zhuge Liang in the period of the Three Kingdoms. Nowadays, the weather- beaten Jianmen Pass is still standing tall and upright in the middle of the Shu Road, guarding the entrance to the northern part of Sichuan Province, and telling the stories about all the warfare and vicissitude of life it has witnessed.

The first place you come to when visiting the Jianmen Pass is the Jianxi Bridge from which you can view the Pass from afar and see the steep mountains in the distance, stretching in an unbroken chain along the horizon. Mt. Dajian and Mt. Xiaojian tower loftily into the clouds and stand erect on either side of the Jianmen Pass. The barren cliffs form two great canyons, which are deep and mysterious. The Jianxi Bridge underfoot was built during the Hongzhi period of emperor Xiao Zong's reign of the Ming Dynasty more than 500 years ago; the main body of it is still kept intact.
With its sharply pointed arch it differs from other bridges and is commonly refered
To as a 'lotus-petal-arch bridge'. Its unique Ming Dynasty architectural style makes the bridge very valuable in archaeology studies.

Walking from the Jianxi Bridge to the gate of the Jianmen Pass you have the opportunity to look closely at the 'No.1 Pass in China' and to admire the sheer grandeur and magnificence of the pass. Jianmen is the result of complex geological movements. During the period of the Three Kingdoms, Zhuge Liang, recognizing its strategic importance, ordered his troops to build a gate against the cliff and set up a pass here for his expansion into the north. In addition, he had a 30-li path built in the valley between Mt. Dajian and Mt. Xiaojian for the convenience of transporting military supplies and sending soldiers to guard the pass. The original Pass was destroyed in 1935 when the Sichuan-Shaanxi Road was built, and the only thing that remains today is a monument displaying three characters 'Jian Men Guan'.
The newly constructed pass, rebuilt on the same site, in its original style, looks magnificent. Strategically located, the 72 ridges and peaks nearby have witnessed the countless historical changes taking place in their shadow. No military force has ever conquered the Jianmen Pass directly, through its front gate.

 

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