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The First Beacon Tower of Great Wall   

first beacon tower of great wallLocated in 7.5 km south of Jiayugyan Fort, this fire tower is the first one of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty from the west end, hence the name. It is also called Taolaihe Dun and Tou Dun in Chinese. It was built in 1539 (Ming Dynasty), all 14 m in length, width and height. The fire tower is located on the cliff at a height of about 80 meters by the Talai River. After hundreds of years of erosion and weathering, the tower itself has been badly damaged, but the main structure still stands there firmly.

In history, there were 39 fire towers inside and outside of Jiayuguan Pass, big or small. All the towers undertook the important task of military in the ancient time. If the enemy troops were approaching and found by the solders at the tower, the fire and smoke was a signal to spread from one to another just like the alarm system nowadays.

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