The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is made up from several walls, along the crest of hills on the southern edge of the Mongolian plain. In the beginning, these short walls were built up in order to to keep Mongol nomads out of China. Later on, modifications were made to the construction, but the most important of all was during the Ming Dynasty (1388-1644 CE). This dynasty made some fortifications, that were up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) high, 15 to 30 feet (4.6 to 9.1 meters) wide at the base, and from 9 to 12 feet (2.7 to 3.7 meters) wide at the top (wide enough for marching troops or wagons). Although different with any season, the Great Wall of China offers a spectacular view for the tourists whoc visit it every year. For instance, summer and autumn are the most crowded periods and spring provides a marvellous green landscape. Moreover, winter is extraordinary, too because of the snow which covers the wall and the mountains in the neighbourhood.

The Great Wall of China Map
The Great Wall of China Map
The Great Wall of China or the “long Wall of 10,000 Li” was built in a period of division for the country, in the 7th century B.C. After the unification of China in 221 B.C., the first emperor of Qin Dynasty linked the walls of the three states in the north and formed the first “Wan Li Chang Cheng”. The wall is considered one of the seven wonders in the world and it was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. It can be found up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus because it is 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) long. Because of its long history and existence, parts of it are now in ruins. Its aim was to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other invaders. Most of the Great Wall we see today was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). However, there are parts where two walls can be seen because they are the result of two dynasties.

The construction is not a common one because many forts, passes and beacon towers were built along the Wall to house auxiliary soldiers, store grain and weapons, and transmit military information. The Great Wall provided protection to the economic development and cultural progress, safeguarded the trading routes such as the Silk Road, and secured transmission of information and transportation.

The Great Wall of China starts from Hushan in Liaoning in the east and ends at Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu in the west, through the nine provinces or cities in northern China, among which Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Gansu. Nowadays, he wall is not used in a military scope anymore and it is open for tourists. For example, Badaling is the most famous and greatest which receives the most visitors from home and abroad. Mutianyu is famous for its spectacular scenery, Jinshanling and Simatai are well known for the wildness and cragginess, and Jiankou is attracted by its dangerous location. Due to these varieties, it’s no wonder that Great Wall is the most welcomed scenic sight in China.

The wall has several sections, such as: Badaling Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, Juyongguan Pass, Simatai Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall, Gubeikou, Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, Shuiguan.It is claimed that the wall can be seen from the moon. This theory was put forth by Richard Halliburton‘s 1938 (long before humans saw the earth from space) book Second Book of Marvels said that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the moon. NASA says, “The Great Wall can barely be seen from the Shuttle, so it would not be possible to see it from the Moon with the naked eye.” NASA astronaut Alan Bean says that “The only thing you can see from the moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white (clouds), some blue (ocean), patches of yellow (deserts), and every once in a while some green vegetation. No man-made object is visible on this scale. In fact, when first leaving earth’s orbit and only a few thousand miles away, no man-made object is visible at that point either.”
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China


The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China

View of the Great Wall of China
View of the Great Wall of China

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