The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups. Several walls have been built since the 5th century BC that are referred to collectively as the Great Wall, which has been rebuilt and maintained from the 5th century BC through the 16th century. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty.To visit this beautiful place check out the following links for more information: China Tours and Air China Here you have some interesting facts about this incredible site:
1. In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed the Great Wall on its list of the world’s great national and historical sites.
2. That the Great Wall is a single, continuous wall built all at once is a myth. In reality, the wall is a discontinuous network of wall segments built by various dynasties to protect China’s northern boundary.
4. The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world.
5. The most visited section of the Great Wall is in Badaling, close to Beijing, which was built during the Ming Dynasty. It was the first section of the wall to open to tourists in 1957. It is where Nixon visited and was the finish site of a cycling course in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
6. The length of all Chinese defense walls built over the last 2,000 years is approximately 50,000 km. Earth’s circumference is 40,000 km.
7. The earliest extensive walls were built by Qin Shi Huang (260-210 B.C.) of the Qin dynasty, who first unified China and is most famous for the standing terra cotta army left to guard his tomb. It is from the Qin (pronounced “chin”) dynasty which the modern word “China” is derived.
8. Because the Great Wall was discontinuous, Mongol invaders led by Genghis Khan had no problem going around the wall and they subsequently conquered most of northern China between A.D. 1211 and 1223. They ruled all of China until 1368 when the Ming defeated the Mongols.
9. Contrary to common belief, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from the moon without aid. This pervasive myth seems to have started in 1893 in the American-published magazine The Century.
10. It is common to hear that the mortar used to bind the stones was made from human bones or that men are buried within the Great Wall to make it stronger. However, the mortar was actually made from rice flour and no bones, human or otherwise, have ever been found in any of the Great Wall’s walls.
11. Voltaire (1694-1778) discussed the Great Wall several times, but he remained undecided what the real point was. In one piece, he though the Egyptian pyramids were “childish” compared to the Wall, which was a “great work.” In another place, he calls the Wall a “monument to fear.”
12. The last battle fought at the Great Wall was in 1938 during the Sino-Japanese War, which was between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. Bullet marks can still be seen in the Wall at Gubeikou.
13. In 2004, there were over 41.8 million foreign visitors to the Great Wall of China.
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