The Great Wall of China – One of the greatest wonders of the world
Length: 8,851.8 km (5,500 miles)
Construction Period: About 2,000 years from the Warring States Period (476 BC – 221 BC) to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance.
The Great Wall we see today was mostly built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). It starts from Hushan Great Wall in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west traversing Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai. Here lists the famous sections for you to know the incredible diversity of scenery along the wall and practical travel tips.
The Great Wall was originally built in the Spring and Autumn, and Warring States Periods as a defensive fortification by the three states: Yan, Zhao and Qin. It went through constant extensions and repairs in later dynasties. It began as independent walls for different states when it was first built, and did not become the “Great” wall until the Qin Dynasty. Emperor Qin Shihuang succeeded in his effort to have the walls joined together to fend off the invasions from the Huns in the north. Since then, the Great Wall has served as a monument of the Chinese nation throughout history.The mystery of the construction of the wall is amazing. The construction, which drew heavily on the local resources for construction materials, was carried out in-line with the local conditions under the management of contract and responsibility system. A great army of manpower, composed of soldiers, prisoners and local people, built the wall. The construction result demonstrates the wisdom and tenacity of the Chinese people.
Great Wall carries a considerable part of Chinese culture. It has long been incorporated into Chinese mythology and symbolism. The most well-known legend is about the collapse of a section of the Wall caused by Meng Jiangnu, who cried bitterly over the death of her husband after he died while building the wall. This legend has been spread widely through textbooks, folk songs and traditional operas.
Following a 45-day long survey of 101 sections of the Wall in different provinces, the China Great Wall Academy reported on December 12, 2002 that the forces of nature and destruction by mankind are bringing about gradual reduction of extent of Great Wall with the result that less than 30% remains in good condition. The Academy has called for greater protection of this important relic.