The tower at Andingmen in the early 1920s. Andingmen was originally called Anzhenmen, but at the beginning of Emperor Hongwu's reign the name was changed. The watch tower shown above was built during the reign of Emperor Yongle, but the arrow tower with its many embrasures wasn't added until the reign of Emperor Zhengtong, both of the Ming Dynasty. The north gate is second in importance to the south gate to a city. Returning troops would enter through this gate after they returned from battle or missions. Interestingly, the troops left by exiting through Deshengmen, to the west.
Last update: May 2011
© Marilyn Shea, 2011