Sites to See: The Great Wall of China

great wall of china
(Recent picture of The Great Wall of China)

The Great Wall of China is one of the most magnificent landmarks standing today and many tourists make the trip to see this structure in China. Here are some of the interesting facts and history surrounding the Great Wall of China.

- There were several Great Walls built to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from attacks by Xiognu during the 6th century BC and the 16th century . The most famous of the walls has very little remaining of it. It was built by the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, between 220 & 200 BC.

- There are a total of four Great Walls during China's history, built under the direction of different dynasties:

208 BC (the Qin Dynasty)

1st century BC (the Han Dynasty)

1138 - 1198 (the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period)

1368-1620 (from Hongwu Emperor until Wanli Emperor of the Ming Dynasty)

- The current wall was built by the Ming Dynasty. Construction continued by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), and the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure ever erected.

- The Great Wall is considered the world's longest human-made structure stretching over 4,000 miles in total length from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west.

- It is estimated that some 2-3 million Chinese died during the centuries it took to build and maintain the Great Wall of China. At its peak, the Wall was guarded by over 1 million men.

- Signal points are prominent on certain sections of The Great Wall. These were located at high points along the wall to allow for increased visibility so soldiers could warn of enemy attacks, or call for reinforcements.

- The Great Wall was mainly built from Earth or Taipa, stones, and wood, before bricks were used. The Ming Dynasty introduced heavy use of bricks in many areas of the wall, as well as tile, lime and stone.

- A 1932 Ripley's Believe it or Not! cartoon claimed that the Wall was visible from the moon. This claim is unfounded and untrue. There's a more popular debate over whether the Great Wall is visible from low orbit outer space. Several astronauts have claimed they saw it, but not without the aid of a viewing device. Others thought they saw the Wall from space but saw the Great Canal of China instead.

- One of the best times to visit the Great Wall may be during the Spring season, in order to avoid tourists. It's a beautiful site amongst the trees, plants and vegetation changing colors. Visiting in fall gives an amazing view with pleasant weather, making autumn another great time to visit. In winer, the wall and mountains nearby can become covered by snow, offering a very beautiful scene. Tourists are also fewer as this time of year is very cold.

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3M said...

I'd like more understanding as to why societies create these walls that prevent peaceful, submissive people from acquiring their happiness. I’ve never met a wall that sould not be conquered.

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