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Suopo fortification

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Suopo fortification Introduction

Danba County is honored as “home to thousands of fortifications” because there stand numerous ancient fortifications in the villages, ridges and strategic passes on the upstream of Dadu River. The fortifications were the masterworks of the ancient Jiarong Tibetans with a long and splendid history. The most ancient ones were built in the Tang Dynasty, while the latest were in the Qing Dynasty. There were at most 3,000 fortifications in the most peak period in Danba, of which only 166 survived today, which are mainly distributed in Suopo Village and Zhonglu Tibetan Village.

Suopo fortification 

“Suopo” means “Mongol” in Tibetan, and it is said that many Mongols used to graze here. There are 84 fortifications in Suopo, which is the most concentrated place in Danba, or even in the whole world. Watching across the bank, the fortification group looks spectacular and magnificent against the blue sky. The ancient architectures which have survived the vicissitudes of hundreds of years still stand still between the cliffs beside the river. Even some are already tilted but still not fallen, which is incredible in the architecture history.

Suopo fortification 

The ancient fortifications are strongly built by mud and stones and look nice. Most are linked with residential buildings, while some are established on the plain ground or in the valley. The outlook of the fortifications is usually high prism: square, pentagon, octagonal, and some can be tridecagon. The heights are above 10 meters, and most of them are about 30 meters. Some can even reach 50 to 60 meters. In terms of functions, they can be divided into house fortifications and village fortifications. The house fortifications are built in families beside the houses, and the village fortifications are built in villages or tribes on the passes and the ridges. The village fortifications are also divided into beacon fortifications, pass fortifications, border fortifications, geomancy fortifications and war fortifications. Pass fortifications are constructed on the cliffs or in front of the hubs to defend enemies; beacon fortifications are built on the mountain tops for communicating; village fortifications usually stand at the end of the village to protect the tribe in wars; house fortifications are mostly linked with buildings which are used as store houses or war towers in battles. Doors of all fortifications are as high as about 5 meters, in front of which lays single-log ladders. People can retreat to the fortifications, take away the ladders and close the doors when the enemies invade. Besides, there are also arrow holes on the fortification, where people can shoot arrows or throw stones to the enemies.

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