The first dirt wall was built here during the state of the Northern Wei (386-534), where Datong was the capital, and was called Pingcheng (平城 - Píng chéng). A thousand years later, in 1372, the construction of the wall which image and outline have survived until nowadays was started by the General Xu Da (徐达 - Xú Dá), a friend of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder and the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Since the mid-19th century, the wall began to decline and collapse. By 2005, the wall came tumbling down; its total length was halved.
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