The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Spanning over 13,000 miles, it is the longest wall ever built by humans. This massive structure has a rich history, is filled with myths and legends, and is considered one of the most outstanding engineering achievements of all time. This blog post will explore the history, myths, and facts surrounding the Great Wall of China.
History of the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China was originally built in the 7th century BCE by the Qi state. Over the centuries, the wall was expanded and rebuilt by various dynasties, including the Qin, Han, and Ming. The purpose of the wall was to protect China’s northern borders from invading forces, such as the Mongols and the Manchus.
Despite its impressive size and scope, the Great Wall of China was not a continuous structure. It consisted of various walls and fortifications built in strategic locations along the northern borders. These walls were connected by natural barriers such as mountains and rivers.
Myths and Legends of the Great Wall of China
There are many myths and legends surrounding the Great Wall of China. One of the most famous is the legend of Meng Jiangnu. According to the legend, a woman named Meng Jiangnu’s husband was conscripted to work on the Great Wall. When she heard that he had died while working on the wall, she visited his grave. She wept so much that the wall collapsed, revealing her husband’s body. Another legend claims that the wall was built by dragons, who carried massive stones to construct it.
Facts about the Great Wall of China
Here are some fascinating facts about the Great Wall of China:
- The Great Wall of China is the longest ever built, stretching over 13,171 miles and 21,196 kilometers.
- The wall is not visible from space, despite popular belief. However, it is visible from low Earth orbit.
- The Great Wall of China is not a single wall, but rather a collection of walls and fortifications built over several dynasties.
- The wall was not just used for defense. It also served as a way to control trade and immigration along China’s northern borders.
- The construction of the Great Wall of China led to the deaths of thousands of workers, many of whom were conscripted or forced into labor.
Visiting the Great Wall of China
Visiting the Great Wall is a must-do for anyone interested in history, architecture, or engineering. The wall is located near Beijing, and there are several sections that are open to visitors. Some of the most popular sections include Badaling, Mutianyu, and Jinshanling.
If you’re planning a visit to the Great Wall, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as the terrain can be rugged and steep in some places. It’s also a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are few amenities available on the wall itself.
When you arrive at the wall, you’ll have the option to hike along various sections of the wall. Some sections are steeper and more challenging than others, so it’s important to choose a section that matches your fitness level and experience.
As you walk along the wall, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You’ll also be able to see the impressive engineering feats that went into building the wall, including watchtowers, fortifications, and battlements.
Preserving the Great Wall of China
Despite its enduring strength, the Great Wall of China is not invincible. Over the years, the wall has suffered from natural erosion, weathering, and human interference. In recent years, there have been efforts to preserve the wall for future generations.
The Chinese government has implemented a number of measures to protect the wall, including limiting tourism in some areas, banning graffiti and vandalism, and enforcing strict conservation guidelines. In addition, there are ongoing efforts to restore damaged sections of the wall, using traditional building techniques and materials.
Visitors to the wall can also help to preserve it by following conservation guidelines and avoiding behaviors that can damage the wall, such as climbing on the walls, removing bricks or stones, or littering.
The Great Wall of China is a true marvel of human engineering and ingenuity. Its rich history and legends have captured the imaginations of people all over the world, and its stunning beauty draws visitors from far and wide. Whether you’re interested in history, or architecture, or simply want to experience one of the world’s greatest landmarks, a visit to this place is sure to be an unforgettable experience.