NANJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of 200 people with Virgo star-signs held a grand birthday party on Najing's Ming Dynasty city wall to coincide with the wall's 650th birthday on Monday.
The Virgos, whose birthdays fall between August 22 and September 22, shared birthday cakes and gifts at the party. The youngest party-goer was just one year old, and the oldest was in his 90s.
British violinist Charlie Siem, who was in the city for activities related to the 2016 London Design Festival, joined the gathering on the ancient wall and played celebratory music on his violin.
Built on Sept. 5, 1366, the wall is one of the world's largest and best preserved ancient city walls, and 25.1 km long of the wall remains in good condition. The highest part of the wall is 24 meters and the thickest part is 15 meters wide.
Nanjing is leading a UNESCO world heritage application for the world's oldest city walls in partnership with seven other cities, including Xi'an, which also boasts ancient city walls. The application is under review by the State Bureau of Cultural Relics.
Zhu Yuhong was among the birthday crowd with her granddaughter. She said she grew up hearing a local opera -- the Past of South Town Nanjing -- in which lyrics state that the city wall has 13 gates.
Currently, the city wall has only four gates. Many parts of the wall have been damaged through war and urban development.
Cao Fangqing, head of the Nanjing City Wall Protection and Management Center, said that repairs of the wall have been ongoing for a dozen years, helping to restore and open up a lengthy section to the public. Many cultural and sporting activities, such as poetry writing contests and city walking races, are held on the ancient wall throughout the year. Enditem