Dagukou Fort

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Lying 60 km (37 miles) southeast of Tianjin, the Dagukou Fort (http://www.china.org.cn/english/olympic/218527.htm) was built in 1816 to protect Beijing, the capital of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). As a heroic symbol of China's fight against foreign invasion, the emplacement is considered one of the three treasures of Tianjin by its people.

Tianjin is the gateway to Beijing, and the Dagukou Fort is the gateway to Tianjin. Both the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing courts erected fortresses here because of its military importance. In 1858, the Qing government built six emplacements named Wei, Zhen, Hai, Men, Gao, and Shitoufeng. They were all thicker and wider than those constructed in the Ming Dynasty. Between the mid-19th century and 1900, the Eight-Power Allied Forces launched four wars in the Dagu area to gain economic and political control over China. The local armies and citizens fought bravely against the invaders, and many Chinese people sacrificed their lives then. After the war, imperialist powers forced the Qing government to destroy the emplacements. As a result, most of the forts were demolished and only the Wei Fort and the Hai Fort survived.

Ancient cannons at Dagukou Fort, Tianjin