Across the historical northern borders of China is a wall built of stone, wood, earth and other materials. It was built to protect the Chinese Empire from invasion as well as to impose border control and control immigration and emigration. It was built by more than one emperor and the majority of its reconstruction occurred during the Ming Dynasty. The wall includes watch towers, barracks and also allowed signals to be sent by smoke and fire. Archaeological surveys have estimated the length of the wall to be about 13, 171 miles long.
Interesting Great Wall of China Facts:
Originally the Great Wall of China wall was a series of several walls that were eventually joined together. The first were built in the 7th century BC.
The wall served several purposes such as protection, control, taxes, immigration and emigration, and it was even used as a transportation corridor.
The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.
It was classified as one of the world’s great national and historical sites by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1987.
While the Great Wall of China was being built it was commonly referred to as ‘the longest cemetery on earth’. It is estimated that more than one million people died during construction. It is also the longest structure in the world built by man.
During the 7th century BC sections of smaller walls were built. Little of the earlier walls remain today, although they served as a starting point for what would eventually become the Great Wall of China.
Qin Shi Huang was the first to have extensive walls constructed. Qin is pronounced ‘chin’ and is how the word China came to be.
Mongol invaders breached the wall in places where it was not complete and conquered the majority of northern China from 1211 and 1223 AD. Genghis Khan was the ruler of the Mongolian invaders. The Ming dynasty defeated the Mongolians in 1368.
In 1893 the magazine The Century published a story that stated that the Great Wall of China could be seen from the moon. Robert Ripley (he founded Ripley’s Believe it Or Not) made the same claim in 1932. It has not been proven and is highly unlikely. Compare this to being able to see a human hair from two miles away. Ripley should have classified this myth as ‘Or Not’.
Although there have been rumors that human bones were used to create the mortar to bind the stones of the wall together, no bones have ever been found within the Great Wall of China.
Before the 20th century, the Great Wall of China was rarely depicted in any Chinese art.
President Nixon visited the Great Wall of China in 1972, which helped to increase the interest of the wall as site for tourists to visit.
The wheelbarrow was invented by the Chinese and it was used during the construction of the wall.
Due to erosion, there is a section of the Great Wall that may disappear in the next 20 years.
The Chinese invented gunpowder, and used it to defend the Great Wall.
The Republic of China and the Empire of Japan fought the last battle ever fought at the Great Wall in 1938.
In the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Great Wall of China was the finish spot for a cycling course.