The Great Wall of China

wall of chinaThe landmark of China, the Great Wall of China, is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.  Despite being built many centuries ago, this amazing wall has withstood degradation of weather and mankind to become one of the appealing attractions in China.

The Great Wall of China stands at 13,170 miles long, starting from Shanhaiguan District on the east side of China to Lop Nur on the west side.  All constructions of the Wall were from manpower as there were no machines available.  Millions of people risked their lives building this great historical piece on mountains and steep cliffs.  The people who contributed to building this famous landmark includes common people, criminals, and soldiers making up most of the group.


Construction of the wall began in 476 BC – 221 BC until it was finished in the Ming Dynasty in 1644.  Throughout the Qin, Hin, and Ming Dynasty, the Wall was rebuilt, restored, and maintained.  The remaining 30% portion of the Wall that we see today was constructed in the Ming Dynasty.  The Wall was built with a military purpose of defending and fortifying from the Huns.  During the Ming Dynasty, the Wall was reconstructed to be much stronger with the use of stones and bricks rather than using natural materials of earth, chalk, and gravel.  The stones used were Crenel Stone, which was sturdier and could be built taller.  The Wall was constructed with characteristics that contributed to successful defending against invasions.  Several useful military mechanisms were watch towers, barracks, signaling stations, and the walking path on top of the Wall.


With the Great Wall standing for more than 2000 years, it has become one of the “must visit” landmarks for tourists in China.  The most popular area of the Wall to visit is located in Beijing as it is one of the best maintained portions of the Wall.  Despite it being the only portion that is well maintained, it is still considerably long with many marathons taking place on it from people throughout the world.  There is even a myth that states that the Great Wall of China is long enough to be seen from the moon!


Submitted by Irene Lam

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