In Shanxi Province there are essentially three main gates of the Outer Layer of the Great Wall of China plus various minor gates of the inner layers of defensive walls in the Region.
Starting in the East, the Main Gates in Shanxi Province are Yanmen Guan, Ningwu Guan and last of all, located in the West near the Yellow River (Huang He), Pian Guan.
Because it is historically part of the Inner Layers, PingXing Guan, the most Northernly Great Wall pass in Noth-East Shanxi is not counted. It is west of PingXing Guan that the Outer and Inner Layers of the Great Wall fuse together at Baiyang Mountain, making Yanmen Guan south of Datong the First Gate of the Outer Layer of The Great Wall of China in Shanxi Province.
All three main gates fell under the jurisdiction of the Pianguan Pass and its Garrison patrolled as far East as Baiyang Mountain, the point of juncture of the Inner and Outer layers of the Great Wall.
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Shanxi Province Geographic Map 1A
A Geographic overview Map of Shanxi Province entire delineating provincial borders and parts of neighboring Shaanxi Province in the West, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the North,  Hebei Province to the East and Henan Province in the South.  Includes Cities and Towns (shown by size), Main Monuments & landmarks of Shanxi Province, the flow of the yellow river along the borders with Shaanxi- and Henan Provinces, Great Wall of China locations in North Shanxi Province, Main Mountains (with Height), major highways, provincial railroads and main railroad-stations and main waterways & rivers. This Map further provides links to on site photos and information on the City and Area of Datong, Yungang Caves World Cultural Heritage Site, Wu Tai Shan Holy Mountains Area and Monasteries. Other sites will be included in the Future.
Shaanxi Province Geographic Overview
Among the Inner layer Passes and Gates are four main sites: PingXing Guan outside Hunyuan, Longquan (Guan) on the Shanxi-Hebei border south-west of Hunyuan (and the Monastery-in-Mid-Air) and due East of Xiao Wu Tai Shan Mountain, Ningzhou Pass on the railway line North between Taiyuan and Xinzhou and Niangzhi Guan and Yangquan, which block off the pass between Taiyuan in Shanxi Province and Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province.
The Pian Guan (偏关, piān guān), Guan meaning Pass, is one of the oldest fortified passes on the Great Wall. Its main fortress of Piantou fortress was the first fortification in the area and was constructed as long ago as during the Five Dynasties (and Ten Kingdoms) Period (907 AD to 960 AD).
The current day remains of the Gates on the 3 passes near the Piantou Fortress oddly were first built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 AD - 1368 AD). In essence however, no trace of this original Yuan Dynasty pass is left today except for an arched gate. Despite repeated restorations and strenghtening during the Ming Dynasty, the Walls themselves are missing from the landscape. Most of the 200 watchtowers active during the Ming Era only a few remain.
The Pian Pass itself is 1.6 miles in circumference and 38.4-feet high. Originally there were three gates in the east, west and south sides. However, due to many years of dismantling from the 1940's onwards, only two gates are left today, the south brick arched gate and a 32.8-yard brick wall in the west of the pass.
Nearby is and the “Hualin Bao”,the ancient military fort built for the Garrison of the Pass during the Ming Dynasty.

Nearby Pian Guan village are two worthwile associated sites. The First in Line is the “Shigou”Wall, a section of inter-connecting wall which links the Outer Layer and Inner Layer of the Great Wall in this area. The second is one not to be missed: the Great Wall of China at the Yellow River, just a short hike due west of Pian Guan.
The Laoniu River Bend (The Old Ox River Bend) West of Piang Guan is the location where the Great Wall meets the Yellow River. At this very location overlooking the Yellow River there is a
China Report - Map of the Gobi Desert & Yellow River Flow
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well-preserved 30 meter hollow brick tower standing on the that of the cliff. The view on offer is the internationally famous sight of the Yellow River flowing beneath the Wenbiling Xiao (Protecting the Water Tower) on Dongshan Hill outside Pianguan Pass.

All Pian Guan Pass and Great Wall of China remnants of Pianguan lie north of and
The Town of Pian Guan is nearby adjoining Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the North and Pian Guan is the historic border between two wildly different civilizations. The Pian Guan Fortress was the Main Zhen (=Garrison) in the Region and therefor the Pian Guan Garrison was in control of the section between the Yellow River and Baiyang Mountain. To the North of Pian Guan the Great Wall trods back
Schematic Map depicting the multiple layers of the Great Wall of circling Beijing, then continuing into North Shanxi Province, passed YanMenGuan at Datong to PianGuan in the North-West Of Shanxi where it terminates at the Yellow River.The Great Wall continues westward through Shaanxi,Ningxia and Gansu Provinces.
YanMenguan Pass at Datong, Shanxi Province
Lanzhou, Gansu Province
Old Dragon's Head - East Terminus at QinhuangDao
Xining, QingHai Province
Xi'An, Shaanxi Province
Zhengzhou, Henan Province
Jinan, Shandong Province
Hohhot, Inner Mongolia AR
Yinchuan, Ningxia Province
Beijing, Capital of China
LuoYang, Henan Province
PianGuan Pass at Yellow River 'Old Ox Bend', Shanxi Province
TaiYuan, Capital of Shanxi Province
LinFen, Shanxi Province
North-Eastward following the Yellow River. This is the location of Wanjiazhai where only earthen remains of the wall run right along the banks of the great Yellow River. One Lone Beacon Tower and Relics of an ancient village stand on a ridge above the river, including an outdoor Opera theater, a small temple and a beautiful, old gnarled tree in a central courtyard. As has been the case for centuries now long past, small patches of farmland lie in immediate the surroundings using the fertile soil left  by the everchanging flow of the now somewhat reduced mighty river. Newer developments include the Wanjiazhai Dam, which smooths out the rush of the river into a gentle and surprisingly clear stream.
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Satellite image of China and North-East Asia, with a super-imposed schematic Map of the location and Path of the Great Wall as constructed during the Reign of the Ming Dynasty. Included for reference are City names, geographical features of landscape, Names and locations of Passes on the Great Wall of China.
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Yulin Fortress + Great Wall, Shaanxi Province
Dingbian Great Wall, Shaanxi Province
Songwei Great Wall, Ningxia AR
Yongchang Great Wall, Gansu Province
Zhanjiakou (Kalgan) Great Wall, Hebei Province
outside the Village and are located in Pianguan County. Pianguan lies at the foot of Guancen Mountain which extends to the east, West of Pianguan lie the surging waters of the Yellow River.
Pian Guan Great Wall Pass as depicted on Stamp from Series of 4 (Jiumenkou, Niangzi Pass, Pian Guan Pass and Bianjing Tower.
In history, the pass had been the focus of imperial rulers due to its strategic significance. The Pass being essential in the Defense of Shanxi and thus in turn the Capital at Beijing.
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