The Great Wall of China is considered to be the largest man-made ancient defenses and fortifications of all time. Although it is commonly known as a “wall”, the structure is a unified and integrated defense system equipped with heavy blocks, barracks, fire stations, and fortress along the wall. Historians believe that there could be heavy artillery machinery installed by the ancient Chinese states to protect the other side of the wall. The total distance covered by this enormous wall is around 21,195 kilometers, half of the length of the equator, which includes mountains, grasslands, deserts, plateaus, and hills covering from the west to the eastern part of China.
The site has been a prominent and notable place around the globe after its discovery. In 1987, The United Nations declared it as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site is also considered to be one of the seven wonders of the medieval world. However, historians and archaeologists believe that the site is not just medieval, as the wall is as early as 7th century B.C.
The wall's military use faded away, but now as an architectural feat with historical significance, it is certainly the No. 1 iconic attraction and center of attraction in China. There are remains of this historic site found in many provinces of China. The restored and well-preserved parts you can see today were mainly built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 BC – 1644BC)
Location & Dynamics:
The wall starts from the “GANSU” which is North China, East Asia, and the South-Western part of Inner Mongolia. This part is also known as “The first fire tower” in the “Jiyauguan” region. The west end of the wall comprises of “Jiyaguan region” and “Ming Great Wall”. The length of the “Ming Great Wall” is almost 8850 km. The eastern part of the wall starts from “Dandong of Liaoning”, also known as the Hushan Great Wall. This covers about 15 states and regions of the country, roughly from east to west which include Gansu, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Shaanxi, Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Shandong, Henan, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang.
The official government survey by the NCHA (National Cultural Heritage Administration) of China unveils that Inner Mongolia, Hebei, and Shanxi are the top three spots boasting the greatest Wall artifact. The ancient human-made antique, crossing 26 degrees of longitude appears in total variegation and diversified sceneries. The walls in eastern parts of China are kept in fine quality and condition, while those in the wild northwest region have been heavily damaged or exterminated.
Travel & Tourism:
Beijing, owning only 5.38% of the wall artifact throughout China, has the picture and pattern of the Ming Great Wall. The most-visited and the best-preserved up till now sections are within around 100 km to 140 km north of downtown Beijing.
- First-time visitors to Beijing: Badaling, or Mutianyu
- Return visitors: Juyongguan, or Simatai (with Gubei Water Town)
- Experienced hikers: Jiankou (wild and dangerous)
If one wants to discover the wall outside Beijing, Shanhaiguan in Hebei, Jiayuguan in Gansu, Zhenbeitai in Shaanxi are the best places to visit.
Well Reserved Sections
The Great Wall of China is gigantic and crosses nine provinces. The four most recommended sections are Simatai, Jiankou, Mutianyu, and Badaling, and are all around Beijing.
Some Great Wall sections are well-reserved and restored, like Badaling, Mutianyu, and some parts of Jinshanling. However, as the Great Wall starts in the mountains, it's difficult to go there due to wild and rough terrain as well as the turbulent surface. Moreover, in wild regions, there is a great number of chances of getting lost without a guide, and getting there on your own would be very burdensome.
The Great Wall of China Is Rich in History
The Great Wall of China is rich in history as well as culture, from defense purposes to world heritage sites. One should have a Baedeker (travel guide) to describe and relate the history of the Great Wall in context to get the most from your trip.
Jiankou section of the wall is completely wild, un-preserved, and unrestored, which makes it a risky, but exciting hike. Definitely not the best option if you compare it from Beijing side, as the steps are perilous and can be outright dangerous to climb. Also, this section is not officially open to the general public (usually foreigners) and the entrance is controlled by locals. Appropriate footwear, comfortable clothing, and safety medications are recommended if one wants to visit this area.
The Great Wall Was Built With Passion
Construction of the Great Wall of China, how the Great Wall was built
The majestic Great Wall has a history that dates back 2300 years and was built with wisdom, devotion, blood, sweat, and tears.
Many families were separated from one another, and many workers died during their time in constructing and were entombed as part of the Great Wall itself.
How Tall Is the Great Wall In Height?
The height and length of the Great Wall is approximatelu 5–8 meters (16–26 feet), where intact/reinstated. It was actually intended and designed to be at least three times the height of a man. Some parts of the Wall was constructed along edges and points, which make it look even taller.
The Great Wall is not only considered as just a wall. It was an integrated, combined military defensive system with watchtowers for investigation, fortresses for command posts and logistics, beacon towers for transportations and communication.
During the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), the Great Wall was rebuilt to be stronger than ever and more sophisticated and refined, due to better technology and construction techniques being established by time.
Great Wall Culture and Legends, Stories, Poetry Related to it
The great wall has many legends associated with it. Such as that of mengjiangnv, the Great Wall of ChinaMeng Jiang Nv weeping over the Great Wall.
The Bottom Line
The Great Wall is known as the longest wall of the world and also which is seen from space and is a China icon. It shows us and portrays not only China's awe inspiring culture of national pride, outstanding projects, and determined struggle and resistance, but also China's extravagant and thoughtful architecture and creativity that it possesses.
During the construction of the Great Wall, there were many interesting legends and myths, such as Meng Jiang Nv weeping over the Great Wall, a sad but romantic love story set in the Qin Dynasty.