The Great Wall

Situated in Northern China, the Great Wall of China is an old series of fortifications and walls that was built more than 2,300 years ago.

It was constructed in different areas by distinctive states or dynasties to safeguard unique territorial boundaries.

Several estimates suggest that its length varies from 1,000 to 5,000 miles but an archaeological survey that was performed by the nation’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage showed that the length of the Great Wall is right within the range of 10,000 to 13,000 miles.

According to numerous historians, the Great Wall of China was built by a Qi State duke to avert invasion from other states.

Emperor Qin subsequently connected the sections of the Long Wall on China’s northern border during the Qin dynasty which spanned from 221 B.C.E. to 207 B.C.E.

In addition, Emperor Han Wudi of the Han dynasty expanded the Great Wall to the Yumen Pass during 206 B.C. to help protect the trade of silk cloth.

The Ming dynasty restored the condition of the Great Wall by using stones from the period of 1368 to 1644. Unlike the Ming, Qin, or Han dynasties, the Emperors of the Qing dynasty did nothing to build the Great Wall.

In fact, most people were prohibited to visit the area. In modern times, the reconstruction of the Great Wall started in 1957.

The Great Wall in 1907

Interesting Facts about the Great Wall of China

  • While the best-preserved areas were built during the Ming dynasty, several historians believe that the fortifications of the Great Wall began as early as 7thcentury B.C.
  • During the peak of the Ming dynasty, it is estimated that at least one million soldiers guarded the Great Wall.
  • The Great Wall is made up of more than 7,000 lookout towers.
  • The wheelbarrow was among the primary tools that were used to carry materials in the construction of the Great Wall.
  • The Great Wall built by the Ming Dynasty has average dimensions of 33 feet in height and 15 feet in width.
  • It stretches through 15 regions in Northern China including Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Heilongjiang, Tianjin, Jilin, Shandong, Shanxi, Liaoning, Hebei, Xinjiang, Gansu, Shaanxi, and Gansu.
  • The Great Wall suffered huge man-made damage at the height of the Cultural Revolution. Some areas of the wall were destroyed or vandalized to provide a way for infrastructure construction.
  • The Great Wall is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is also the longest man-made architecture in the world.

The Great Wall of China

When did the Great Wall become a World Heritage Site?

The Great Wall of China was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987.

What was the purpose of the Great Wall?

During the old times, the Great Wall served as a cohesive military defensive system for the Chinese.

It was consists of fortresses for logistics and command posts as well as beacon towers for communications and watchtowers for surveillance. Presently, about 30 percent of the Great Wall is gone due to human damage and natural erosion.

What are the materials used to build the Great Wall?

The iconic Great Wall was constructed with wisdom, sweat, dedication, tears, and blood. It is believed that many workers had died in the construction of the wall.

Normally, the workforce was made up of rebels, peasants, and soldiers who have expertise in using different materials such as brick, sand, stone, and soil.

The Great Wall of Han Dynasty

What is the Ming Great Wall consists of?

The Ming Great Wall was comprised of battlements that are 1.8 meters high and parapet walls that are as high as 1.2 meters.

Likewise, it also featured flanking towers that are located in the face of the wall. The flanking towers enabled defenders to efficiently shoot arrows at their attackers.