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Builders of China's Great Wall



4. Construction Methodology of the Great Wall of China

The construction of the walls is divided into two parts. The first one is the walls constructed during the Qin dynasty, and second, the walls constructed during the Ming dynasty.

4.1 Construction of Walls During Qin dynasty

Hangtu method was used for the construction of the wall during the Qin dynasty. Hangtu means the tamping (hang) of earth (tu) layer by layer until the wall becomes solid. Hangtu walls were easy to construct in a plain area. Though, in the mountainous area, stones were used in place of earth to give more rigidity to walls. In these areas, labors used to cut the stones from the mountains in the vicinity and used it for the construction of walls.

4.1.1 Construction Methodology

The following points describe the Hangtu method used during the construction of Qin Walls:

  1. Firstly, workers made the framework for the construction of the walls using wood.
  2. After that, the workers poured the layer of earth inside the framework.
  3. Then the layer of earth was tamped using wooden poles with stone filling at the end. Process of pouring and tamping continued till the wall reached the desired height.
  4. Following this, they removed the wooden frameworks and used them for the next section of the wall. This process was continued till the desired end of the wall was reached.

4.2 Construction of Walls During Ming dynasty

In the initial years of the rule of the Ming dynasty, the workers continued to construct the walls using the Hangtu method.

After 1500 CE, northern enemies (Mongol nomads) started to settle along the borders of China. With time, their numbers grew around the borders, making them wanting to trade for food and other goods. However, Ming dynasty rulers didn’t want to establish any relationship with the Mongols, due to which the Mongols launched an attack on the Chinese.

The Mongolian army was much powerful than the Chinese army. Hence, this war went on for decades. Finally, the Chinese decided to build another long wall to protect the entire border. This time, they wanted to construct stronger walls than before.

4.2.1 Construction Methodology

The following points describe the construction method used during the Ming dynasty:

  1. The basic plan of construction was the same as the Hangtu method. However, the workers used stone and bricks instead of wooden frames and earth.
  2. For the construction of high walls, a solid foundation was needed. Therefore, to provide a solid foundation, workers dug two parallel trenches of around 2 feet deep. They then filled the trenches with the stones.
  3. After that, they used the bricks to construct the wall on top of the two trenches. The gap between the two walls was filled with rubble and earth.
  4. The top of the wall was covered by a brick layer so that a road could be created over it.
  5. Builders also provided the drainage system such that the system funneled the rainwater away from the wall.
  6. The Ming wall base was wider and the wall tapered as it was reaching the top. Most of the walls had a bottom base of around 6 feet and top base of around 5 feet.
  7. The road along the top of the wall was wide enough to allow soldiers and horses to travel.
  8. Crenellated battlements of 7 feet height were constructed on top of the wall. Battlements were the crucial features in structures designed for defense.
  9. The height of Ming walls was kept around 23 to 26 feet on open ground, whereas in the mountainous regions, the wall height was limited to a few feet. Some stretches in the mountains are so steep that the wall looks like a stairway to the sky.

No, the Great Wall of China is composed of a series of walls. These walls were built from approximately 470 BCE to 1670 CE.

The exact length of the Great Wall of China is not known. It may never be known as many parts of the wall have vanished over time. Also, it is not one continuous wall. In 2012, China announced that the official length of the wall is 21,196.2 km. This distance would cover the United States almost five times.

These walls are mainly located across northern China.

The Chinese ruler constructed the walls to block raids by northern enemies (known as nomads).


The Longest Wall in the World - The Great Wall of China

Construction of Great Wall of China - Great Wall of China History

The Great Wall of China, the world's largest man-made structure, was not built by any one dynasty and ruler, but a lot of empires and emperors contributed to its construction.

According to the facts mentioned in history, during 720 to 221 BCE, the construction of the Great Wall of China was done under the supervision of the Zhou Dynasty. After this, this huge wall of China was built by the Qin dynasty from about 221 BCE to 207 BCE on the northern border of China.

Subsequently, the Han Dynasty supported the construction of this huge wall, during which this great wall was extended to protect the Silk Road trade.

And then after this, between 1368 and 1644, the Mig dynasty carried on the construction of this wall, during this period most of this wall was built.

Sand, stone, brick and clay have been used in the construction of this wall, including rice flour.

The main purpose of the Great Wall of China -

This world's largest man-made structure was originally built as a wartime defense, that is, to avoid enemy attacks and to unite China and use it as a silk route.

In addition, this route was also used for the purpose of trade and transportation of goods.

Let me tell you that at the time there was a threat from Mongolians to China, they often wanted to attack China, so this huge wall was specially designed to protect against Mongolian attacks and enemy attacks.

Let us tell you that many lookout towers have also been built in this huge wall of China to monitor the border of China. At the same time, when the first ruler of China, Qin Shi Huang, first proposed this world's largest structure, during that time, his only objective was to protect the Chinese states from the northern invading tribes.

One of the Seven Wonders of the World is the Great Wall of China - 7 Wonders Of The World Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall of China is the world's largest man-made structure, which is not just a long wall, but a series of many walls and forts. This great wall has been built by millions of laborers in more than 2 thousand years.

Known for its amazing texture and grandeur, this wall has been included in the seven wonders of the world. This huge wall, built to protect against enemy attacks, also has facilities for signaling fire, smoke, etc., including several watch towers.

Apart from this, other control systems including army barracks have also been constructed in this great wall.

The Great Wall of China, built several thousand years ago, is constructed in such a way that it is a huge wall, not a common wall but a huge collection of fortifications and many walls, some of which are parallel to each other, While others are somewhat circular.

Most of the work of making this huge wall built by millions of artisans was done by hand, though the ancient technique used at that time in making this huge structure was rope, basket, pulley, wheel barrow, horse or bull -Carts etc. were also used.

Total time taken to build the Great Wall of China - Great Wall of China Building Time

The construction of this huge wall of China built by many empires and rulers took a long time of more than 2 thousand. It took about 691 days for Stephen Robert Loken, who came from Norway to measure this 6400 km long wall. There are several thousand Chinese relics inside this huge wall.

The starting point of "The Great Wall of China" starts at Huashan and ends at Jiaguan Pass, while this huge wall ends at Laolongtou and Bohai Sea.

The Jiaguan Pass has been called the most effective military system in the history of the Great Wall of China, because it effectively prevents invaders from entering China's borders.

Let me tell you that this is the world's largest pass, to which many military stories are attached.

Some interesting and amazing facts related to the Great Wall of China - Facts about The Great Wall of China

1. The Great Wall of China has about 700 lookout towers (to be monitored), which took a long time of about 2,000 years to construct.

2. The most interesting thing about the Great Wall of China, one of the seven wonders of the world, is that this wall has not been built by any one emperor, but many emperors and rulers have contributed to the construction of this huge wall.

3. In the middle of this huge wall of China, there are temples of Mahatma Gandhi and God of War, which are very attractive to see. This wall was opened to common tourists in the year 1970 AD.

4. The longest wall on earth is about 6 thousand 400 kilometers in length, which is one of the largest structures built by humans. The wheelbarrow was invented during the construction of this massive wall. While making this wall, rice flour was used to add stones to it.

5. There are many empty places in this longest wall of the world, if these empty places are added, then the total length will be 8 thousand 848 kilometers. On the other hand, if we talk about the width of this wall, then about 5 horsemen or 10 pedestrians can patrol together.

6. One of the most expensive structures in the world, The Great Wall of China is not a complete wall, but is made up of many small parts.

7. The height of this huge 6400 km is not the same, at some places it is 9 feet high and at some places it is only 35 feet high.

8. About 4 lakh people died in the construction of this world's largest structure. It is also prevalent for the builders of this wall that the artisans who did not work hard to build this great wall, were buried in this wall. This wall is called the world's largest cemetery.

9. The Great Wall of China, one of the world's most expensive structures, was first built to protect the country from enemies, but this wall could not remain invincible, history's most cruel and barbaric ruler Genghis Khan built this great wall in 1211 AD After the break, China was invaded. And then this huge wall was used to transport and transport goods from one place to another.

10. One of the seven wonders of the world, the surprising thing about the huge wall of China is that the bricks are stolen from this great structure. In the 1960s to 1970s, people started building houses for themselves by removing bricks from this wall. Let me tell you that the price of a brick of this huge wall in the smuggler market is considered to be around 3 pounds. Due to the theft of this Great Wall, not being properly maintained, and the effect of bad weather, about one third has disappeared.
This Great Wall of China was included in the World Heritage Site by World Heritage Site UNESCO in 1987.


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The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China was built over centuries by China&rsquos emperors to protect their territory. Today, it stretches for thousands of miles along China&rsquos historic northern border.

Anthropology, Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is one of the most notorious structures in the entire world. The Jinshanling section in Hebei Province, China, pictured here, is only a small part of the wall that stretches over 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles).

Photograph by Hung Chung Chih

The one thing most people &ldquoknow&rdquo about the Great Wall of China&mdashthat it is one of the only man-made structures visible from space&mdashis not actually true. Since the wall looks a lot like the stone and soil that surround it, it is difficult to discern with the human eye even from low Earth orbit, and is difficult to make out in most orbital photos. However, this does not detract from the wonder of this astounding ancient structure.

For millennia, Chinese leaders instituted wall-building projects to protect the land from northern, nomadic invaders. One surviving section of such an ancient wall, in the Shandong province, is made of hard-packed soil called &ldquorammed earth&rdquo and is estimated to be 2,500 years old. For centuries during the Warring States Period, before China was unified into one nation, such walls defended the borders.

Around 220 B.C.E., Qin Shi Huang, also called the First Emperor, united China. He masterminded the process of uniting the existing walls into one. At that time, rammed earth and wood made up most of the wall. Emperor after emperor strengthened and extended the wall, often with the aim of keeping out the northern invaders. In some places, the wall was constructed of brick. Elsewhere, quarried granite or even marble blocks were used. The wall was continuously brought up to date as building techniques advanced.

Zhu Yuanzhang, who became the Hongwu Emperor, took power in 1368 C.E. He founded the Ming Dynasty, famous for its achievements in the arts of ceramics and painting. The Ming emperors improved the wall with watchtowers and platforms. Most of the familiar images of the wall show Ming-era construction in the stone. Depending on how the wall is measured, it stretches somewhere between 4,000 and 5,500 kilometers (2,500 and 3,400 miles).

In the 17th century, the Manchu emperors extended Chinese rule into Inner Mongolia, making the wall less important as a defense. However, it has retained its importance as a symbol of Chinese identity and culture. Countless visitors view the wall every year. It may not be clearly visible from space, but it is considered &ldquoan absolute masterpiece&rdquo here on Earth.

The Great Wall of China is one of the most notorious structures in the entire world. The Jinshanling section in Hebei Province, China, pictured here, is only a small part of the wall that stretches over 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles).


Great Wall of China - History

The famous Great Wall of China, which was built to keep the China's horse-riding neighbors at bay, extends more than 2,000 kilometers across China, from Heilongjiang province by Korea to China's westernmost province of Xinjiang. The wall that is so well known today is predominantly a product of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), though the building of fortified walls to protect territory along the northern frontier stretching from Manchuria to Central Asia is a practice whose roots go back to the Qin dynasty of the 3rd century BCE. In c. 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang, sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defence system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure.

States prior to the Qin Dnasty had built walls to delineate political boundaries with other states. The expansion of the Qin Empire rendered the lesser walls superfluous, but the Eastern Hu incursions gave the Qin a reason to fortify the northern-most barrier. While the Great Wall was not originally conceived to serve as a defense against raiders from the north and east, under the Qin dynasty, sections were added to existing walls. From this time the Great Wall became a military barrier rather than just a political border, though the efforts to keep raiders out through the building of fortifications were unsuccessful. The Eastern Hu continued to raid and demand tribute, until they were ultimately undone by another coalition of nomads, the Xiongnu.

The Great Wall of China was not constructed as a single project. There were two major periods of construction on the Great Wall, one during the Qin and Han dynasties, and the second during the Ming dynasty. During the first period the wall was not one extensive wall, but was rather numerous shorter fortifications. By the time of the second period of major construction during the Ming many of the original fortifications had fallen into complete disrepair, or had even disappeared. It is made up of numerous construction projects that were begun at different times, during different dynasties and in different locations. The wall as it known today is predominantly a product of the Ming Dynasty, which both repaired and rebuilt older sections, and expanded the reach of the structure. The Ming Dynasty structure can be seen from Hebei province to Gansu province. Beyond Gansu province the wall becomes a series of watchtowers that stretch into Xinjiang province and the Taklamakan desert.

The initial fortifications and the subsequent wall were both constructed to slow the advance of invading forces that depended on cavalry-mounted horsemen expert at using the bow and arrow. The initial constructions may have been designed at least as much in response to internal strife as to exterior threats. Imperial governments feared the possibility of disloyal Chinese bringing military technology or other kinds of information to the northern nomadic tribes. As a result, the construction of the wall was equal parts protection from outside invaders and an attempt to keep the Chinese in China.

The Great Wall represented one solution to imperial China's most long term foreign policy problem. This problem rose from the need by China, as a sedentary, agricultural empire to respond to the invasions by nomadic, tribal peoples. Initially, this concern came to prominence with the rise of the Xiongnu (shyong-new) Empire, which was based in present-day Mongolia. In later centuries the Chinese would sustain attacks along the northern frontier from other peoples residing to the north. Some of these groups even succeeded in conquering China, such as the Mongols in the thirteenth century (ruling as the Yuan Dynasty 1279-1368), and the Manchus (ruling as the Qing Dynasty 1644-1911).

The initial fortifications were begun in the 3rd century BCE, during the Qin (pronounced Chin) Dynasty (221- 206 BCE). The fortifications begun during the Qin dynasty were augmented and expanded during the Han dynasty (202 BCE- 220 CE) that followed. The final, and most comprehensive, period of construction took place during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). The Ming Dynasty extended and strengthened the Great Wall in response to the earlier successes of the Mongols. Early Ming rulers greatly feared the Mongols, whom they had toppled in 1368. This fear was not without foundation: one fifteenth-century Ming emperor was captured and held captive by the Mongols for a year.

The Ming Dynasty was overthrown by another people from beyond the northern frontier: the Manchus. Over a number of decades, the Manchus prepared for the conquest of China by learning the governing systems and skills of the Chinese empire. In 1644, Manchu leaders took advantage of an internal rebellion that destroyed the Ming, entering Chinese territory through one of the wall's gates. The Manchus established the Qing (pronounced Ching) Dynasty (1644- 1911), China's last dynasty.


From 1957 — The Great Wall Was Rebuilt for Tourism

The Great Wall wasn't rebuilt again until the restoration of the Badaling section in 1957 under the direction of Chairman Mao, who's famous for saying, "Until you reach the Great Wall, you're no hero."

Since then other sections like Mutianyu (the best-restored section), Juyongguan (an important fort), and Huangyaguan (World Heritage, but few visitors) have been restored for the benefit of tourists interested in China's Great Wall history. The Jinshanling section has restored Great Wall and original Ming Great Wall.


History of the Construction of The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the collective name of a set of fortification systems built across China’s historical northern borders to defend and strengthen Chinese states and empires’ territories against several nomadic tribes of the steppe and their associates. It is one of the New Wonders of the World.

Let’s look at the twisted history of the construction of the Great Wall of China.

Early walls

The Chinese were already accustomed to wall-building skills by the time by 500BCE. During this era and the following Warring States period, the states of Wei, Qin, Qi, Zhao, Yan, Han, and Zhongshan all built far-reaching fortifications to defend their own borders. Constructed to withstand the onslaught of small arms such as spears and swords, these walls were mostly made of stone or by marking earth and sand between board frames.

King Zheng of Qin captured the last of his opponents and consolidated China as “Qin Shi Huang” (the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty) in 221 BC. Intending to force centralized rule and check the resurgence of feudal lords, he ordered removing the walls’ sections that split his empire among the former states. However, to place the kingdom against the Xiongnu people from the north, he ordered new walls to connect the surviving fortifications and the northern frontier’s empire. “Build and move on” was a fundamental guiding principle in building the wall, implying that the Chinese were not making a permanently fixed border.

Transporting many materials required for construction was hard, so builders always tried to use regional resources. Stones from the hills were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used to build the plains. No surviving historical records are indicating the exact length and course of the Qin walls. Most of the old walls have eroded over the centuries, and very few sections remain today. The construction’s human cost is concealed, but some authors have estimated that hundreds of thousands, if not up to a million, labors died constructing the Qin wall. (Classic China)

Later, the Han, the Northern Dynasties, and the Sui all restored, repaired, or extended sections of the Great Wall at significant cost to defend themselves against northern enemies.

The Song and Tang dynasties did not undertake any significant effort in the region. Non-Han dynasties also increased their border walls: the Xianbei-ruled Northern Wei, the Khitan-ruled Liao, Jurchen Jin, and the Tangut-established Western Xia, who controlled vast territories over Northern China throughout centuries, all built armored walls, but those were settled much to the north of the other Great Walls as we know it, within China’s region of Inner Mongolia and in Mongolia itself.

Ming Era- The Great Wall Concept

The Great Wall concept was restored under the Ming in the 14th century, after the Ming army’s defeat by the Oirats in the unusual Battle of Tumu. The Ming couldn’t gain a clear upper hand over the Mongolian clans after continuous battles, and the long-drawn fight was taking a toll on the kingdom. The Ming adopted a new approach to keep the nomadic tribes out by erecting walls along China’s northern border. Acknowledging the Mongol control installed in the Ordos Desert, the wall followed the desert’s southern edge instead of including the Yellow River’s bend.

Unlike the older fortifications, the Ming construction was more robust and more elaborate due to stone and brick-use instead of rammed earth. Up to 25,000 watchtowers are deemed to have been assembled on the wall.

As Mongol raids regularly extended over the years, the Ming dedicated significant resources to reinforce and repair the walls. Parts near the Ming capital of Beijing was incredibly strong. Qi Jiguang, between 1567 and 1570, also fixed and reinforced the wall, covered sections of the ram-earth wall with bricks, and created 1,200 watchtowers from Shanhaiguan Pass to Changping to warn of impending Mongol raiders.

During the 1440s–1460s, the Ming also created a so-called “Liaodong Wall.” Like the Great Wall, but more basic in construction, the Liaodong Wall included the Liaodong region’s agricultural land, defending it against potential incursions by Jurched-Mongol Oriyanghan northwest and the Jianzhou Jurchens from the north. While tiles and stones were utilized in some Liaodong Wall sections, most of it was simply an earth dike with channels on both fronts.

Towards the fall of the Ming, the Great Wall helped protect the empire against the Manchu attacks that began around 1600. Even after Liaodong’s loss, the Ming army held the massively fortified Shanhai Pass, restricting the Manchus from capturing the Chinese heartland. The Manchus were eventually able to cross the Great Wall in 1644 after Beijing had already fallen to Li Zicheng’s radicals. Before this time, the Manchus had passed the Great Wall multiple times to raid, but this time it was for conquering. The gates at Shanhai Pass were opened on May 25 by the dominant Ming general, Wu Sangui, who allied with the Manchus, hoping to use the Manchus to expel the insurgents from Beijing.

The Manchus quickly seized Beijing and ultimately defeated both the rebel-founded Shun dynasty and the surviving Ming resistance, establishing the Qing dynasty rule over all of China.

Under the Qing rule, China’s borders spread beyond the walls, and Mongolia was annexed into the empire, so installations on the Great Wall were discontinued.

Present Day Condition of ‘The Great Wall of China:”

While northern parts of Beijing and near visitor centers have been conserved and even mostly renovated, the wall is in decay in many other places. The wall sometimes gave a source of stones to build roads and houses.

The Wall’s Sections are also prone to vandalism and graffiti, while inscribed bricks were stolen and sold on the market. Parts have been demolished to make way for construction or mining.

According to one report, around 37 mi (60km) of the Gansu region wall may disappear in the next 20 years, due to sandstorm erosion. The wall’s height has been reduced from more than 16 ft 5 in (5 m) to less than 2 m (6 ft 7 in). Various square lookout towers that define the most famous images of the wall have vanished. Many western sections of the wall are built from mud, rather than stone and brick, and thus are more prone to erosion.


China's 'Great Wall of Sand' in the South China Sea: History Repeating Itself?

China's island reclamation in the South China Sea: Simply the new great wall?

For many outside observers, the Great Wall of China is a symbol of ancient China's strength, military might and power. The Xi Jinping Administration is currently undertaking land reclamation in the South China Sea, which has been dubbed by some as the 'great wall of sand'. Could the Great Wall of the past shed light on the current wall of sand?

When the Great Wall was first built, and until the 20th Century when it was adopted as a national symbol by Sun Yat-sen, most Chinese perceived it as a sign of despotism, political failure and suffering due to a loss of national 'greatness'. It was European settlers in China who crafted the notion of a 'Great Wall of China' – an invention consequently adopted by Chinese rulers in the 20th Century as a nation building tool.

One of the key narrative shells of Merriden Varrall's Chinese world views is the notion of history as destiny – China was once great and will be great again. Viewed in this light, the Great Wall is a symbol of China's former greatness. Ergo, the construction of a new wall — the wall of sand — is evidence that China has again become a leader in Asia and is a symbol of its emerging military power and might.

The Great Wall, as we know it, started to emerge under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). Building this wall was seen as the ultimate solution to minimizing the threat of invasion from the nomads. Its construction followed failed attempts at diplomacy and economic inducements. Construction eventually proved to be a costly solution to what could have been likely solved with other methods of diplomacy (such as trade). As the eminent Sinologist Pierre Ryckmans observed in his 1996 Boyer Lectures, once a civilization "feels a defensive need to surround itself with walls in order to keep the outsider world at bay its very survival becomes problematic."

Given the need to understand history when observing China, what can the construction and myth-making of the original Great Wall teach us about the wall of sand in the South China Sea and the current political situation within China?

First, the objectives of the two walls are similar. Like the Great Wall, the wall of sand is designed to keep other claimants to the South China Sea out of China's perceived territory. With the sand wall, China has chosen construction of a 'wall' and rejected other diplomatic measures such as multilateral negotiations and greater economic and trade inducements.

Second, the sand wall is not proving to be an immediate success. The Great Wall of China was ultimately a futile attempt to keep invaders at bay. Despite construction over hundreds of years, the Mongols overcame the wall, defeated the Ming dynasty and established the Qing dynasty – the first dynasty which was not ethnically Han Chinese. Prior to this defeat the wall was already showing signs of cracking. The wall was not continuous and it contained many gaps. For nomads wishing to get through, there were plenty of ways.

Similarly, the sand wall built to shore up China's claims to its nine-dashed line hasn't led other claimants to throw up their hands in defeat. Instead, claimants have found other ways to make claims to what they see as rightfully theirs. The Philippines has taken China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to argue that Beijing must abide by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Other claimant states have sought to strengthen their military alliances with stronger states, including the US and Japan, to balance themselves against China.

Finally, land reclamation efforts are having a backlash. In ancient China wall building backfired as a means to subdue and pacify the nomads. Denying them access to necessities they needed (such as grains and metal tools) made them more aggressive, leading to an increase in raids.

Likewise, China's current efforts with its land reclamation efforts have led to greater aggression from its neighbors and even fears of an arms race in Asia. The past week has seen tensions between China, Indonesia and Vietnam increase following claims by both countries that Chinese fisherman were illegally trolling in their waters. The US has also started carrying out freedom of navigation exercises in and around the sand wall, aggravating relations between the two countries. The sand wall, far from boosting China's claims in the South China Sea. has instead led to growing concern about its motives.

What can the similarities between the two walls teach us about the current political situation in China? The fact that China now feels the need to build walls to protect itself from the outside world suggests it is feeling increasingly threatened from within. As China now feels the need to surround itself with a protective border suggests a certain loss of confidence in its own natural resilience. Recent events in China such as an growing crackdown on dissent and increasing controls over censorship indicate that an external show of force (such as a wall) are masking an internal loss of control. Whether or not the regime that built the sand wall will go the same way as the rulers who built the Great Wall remains to be seen. What is clear is that history in China has an uncanny habit of repeating itself.


History of Great Wall

The Great Wall (Chángchéng) is well-known for its magnificent appearance that shows the essence of wisdom and diligence of the ancient Chinese people. It was started in the Warring States Period and repaired later during other dynasties. The original purpose of the Great Wall was to protect the kingdoms from being attacked by Xiongnu in the Warring States Period. It was later constructed in the Qin Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty on a larger scale. Now, the Great Wall has become one of the most famous tourist sites inside and outside China. Every year, the Great Wall has millions of foreign visitors and all of them admit that it's a real miracle. There is a famous Chinese saying that states, “If we fail to reach the Great Wall, we are not real men.”

Starting from Shanhaiguan in the east and ending at Jiayuguan in the west, the Great Wall has an approximate length of 6,700 kilometers. A recent survey released that the entire Great Wall takes up 8,851.8 kilometers. Made up of tiles, lime, stones, and bricks, composed of city gates, nemy towers, and signal beacon towers and so on, the Great Wall convolves on the ridges of mountains and deserts. It is said by astronauts that the Great Wall is one man-made object that can be seen from space.


The Great Wall Was Built By Several Dynasties

The Great Wall was first built by three warring states, then extended and rebuilt by at least six dynasties, and has been restored as a tourist attraction by the Chinese government.

The following table shows who built the Great Wall and when.

Dates Period Who Built the Great Wall
476–221 BC The Warring States Period Overlords built kingdom border walls.
221–207 BC The Qin Dynasty The First Emperor Qin unified the Great Wall.
206 BC – 220 AD The Han Dynasty Emperor Han Wudi extended the Great Wall west to Yumen Pass.
1368–1644 The Ming Dynasty Chinese hero General Qi Jiguang rebuilt the Great Wall.
1957 People's Republic of China Mao Zedong had the Badaling Great Wall section rebuilt.
1978–now Post "Opening-Up" Deng Xiaoping's reforms started this era of foreign tourism and Great Wall restoration.


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