Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built by different dynasties to defense themselves from warriors and invaders.

Purpose

To protect the Chinese Empire or its states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces.

To control border, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road and to control immigration and emigration.

Built

Construction of the Great Wall begun by feudal warlords in 7th century BC and in between 221 and 206 BC, the lengths of the wall were joined together by Qin dynasty.

Covers

The main Great Wall line stretches from Shanhaiguan to Lop Lake, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia

Area

13,170 miles or 21,195 km long

Names

The collection of walls known today as the Great Wall of China was referred by a number of different names and before “Great Wall of China”; it was called “the Chinese wall“. In Chinese, they are most commonly known as Changcheng, meaning “long wall”.

History

The Chinese knew to build walls and between 8th and 5th century BC and the subsequent warring states period, the states of Qin, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Yan and Zhongshan all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders.

Myth

It’s a space-based myth that the wall is visible from Moon.

Meng Jiangnv’s husband died building the wall & her weeping was so bitter that a section of the wall collapsed, revealing her husband’s bones so she could bury them.

The mortar used to bind the stones was made from human bones

Significance

The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.

UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage site in 1987.

It’s the longest fortification ever built

The Badaling section, had been visited by over 300 heads of state and VIPs from around the world. Furthermore it is the most famous stretch of the Wall, for this was the first section to be opened to the public in the People’s Republic of China.

Badaling Section of Great Wall
Tourism

The biggest and the most popular tourist attraction of China, dragging thousands of people each year.

Site that you see

Jiankou section of the Great Wall, known for being steep and winding, enjoys the most frequent appearance on picture books and post cards of the Great Wall.

Jiankou section of Great Wall
Facts

Countless people worked on the construction of the wall.

After its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, China opened the wall to the foreign merchants and visitors then Great Wall became a main attraction for the world.

The sections of the Great Wall around Beijing municipality are especially famous: they were frequently renovated and are regularly visited by tourists today

Great Wall around Beijing municipality

Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from rammed earth, stones, and wood.

More than 60km (37 mi) of the wall in Gansu province may disappear in the next 20 years due to erosion from sandstorms.

Great Wall in Gansu province

In August 2012, a 30m (98 ft) section of the wall in north China’s Hebei province collapsed after days of continuous heavy rains.

The wall is a maximum 9.1m (30 ft) wide, and is about the same color as the soil surrounding it.

NASA claims that the wall is visible from low Earth orbit (an altitude of as little as 160 km) while some authors have argued that it is impossible to see the wall with the naked eye, even from low orbit, and would require visual acuity of 20/3 (7.7 times better than normal).

The first man to finish trekking the most length spent 2 years from Shanhaiguan Pass to Jiayuguan Pass.

The main body of the Ming wall measures 21ft tall on average

Ming Dynasty's Contribution

The labor force to build the Great Wall includes soldiers, forcibly recruited peasants, convicts and war prisoners.

The official length of the Great Wall is 8851.8km

The first Head of the state to visit the wall was Soviet statesman Klim Voroshilov in 1957.

Gubeikou section of the Great Wall, with bullet holes still can be seen in the wall, was the venue where the last battle fought at the Great Wall.

Gubeikou section of the Great Wall Gubeikou section of the Great Wall
The widest section of the wall is around 9m (30 ft).

The highest point of the wall is around 8m (26 ft)

During its construction, the Great Wall was called “the longest cemetery on earth” because so many people died building it. Reportedly, it cost the lives of more than 1 million people.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-78), the Great Wall was seen as sign of despotism, and people were encouraged to take bricks from it to use in their farms or homes.

Watchtowers were built at regular intervals along the Great Wall and could be up to 40ft tall.

Watchtowers along the Great Wall Watchtowers along the Great Wall

 

The highest point of the Great Wall is in Beijing at Heita Mountain (5,033ft/1,534m)

The highest point of the Great Wall at Heita Mountain

The lowest point of the Great Wall is at Laolongtou (sea level).

The lowest point of the Great Wall at Laolongtou

In the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Great Wall of China was the finish spot for a cycling course.

 

2008 Summer Olympics

 

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