Travel can expose you to sights and experiences that are unimaginable, spectacles that lift your spirit and indelibly etch their magnificence into your memory.
I recently visited one such sight . . . the Great Wall of China.
Here’s a photograph I made of the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass, which is a little more than 30 miles north of Beijing.
You can see more of my pictures of the Great Wall here.
Great Wall Of China Facts
When Was The Great Wall Of China Built?
Construction was begun in the 7th century B.C. In 221 B.C., the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty linked 3 separate walls and formed the “Wan Li Chang Cheng.” (This means the ten thousand li Great Wall. Li is a Chinese unit of length which is equal to ½ kilometer.)
The Great Wall was rebuilt, modified or extended for over 2,000 years. Most of the Great Wall that we see today was built during the Ming Dynasty, between 1368 and 1644.
Why Was The Great Wall Of China Built?
The wall was originally built to defend the Chinese Empire against invasion by Mongolian and Manchu enemies from the north.
Is The Great Wall Of China “All Wall”?
Actually, it isn’t. The “wall,” which winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountans and plateaus, from east to west, consists of different walls that were built at different times and then joined together. The “wall” also includes trenches and natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.
How Long Is The Great Wall Of China?
As I explained above, it has been called the “ten thousand li Great Wall” which would make it 5,000 km, or a little more than 3,000 miles, long.
However, a comprehensive archaeological survey that was done using advanced technologies concluded that all the walls measure 5,500.3 miles (8,851.8 km).
The walls, themselves, total 3,889.5 miles (6,259.6 km). (However, this includes many side branches that don’t contribute to the west-to-east ‘length’ of the wall). Another 223.5 miles (359.7 km) is trenches and 1,387.2 miles (2,232.5 km) is natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.
What Is The Great Wall Of China Made Of?
The wall portions of the Great Wall are stone and earthen.
For example, the portion of the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass – pictured above – is made of stone and bricks from the nearby hills, and this portion of the Great Wall is 26 feet (7.8 meters) high and 16 feet (5 meters) wide.
Where Is The Great Wall Of China Located?
More specifically, the Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Lake in the west along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia.
What Is The Modern Day Significance Of The Great Wall Of China?
The longest fortification ever built, the Great Wall is now China’s biggest and most popular tourist attraction.