Great Wall Of China Facts
The Great Wall of China is truly a man made marvel. It extends around 2,145 miles and has many branches that extend an addition 1,770 miles. There are Great Wall of China facts that give you an insight into it and the way it was constructed. These facts will help to bust many myths that exist about the Wall. For instance, many people believe that the Wall was built in one go. However, this is not true. Different dynasties in China at different points in time kept adding to the wall to protect their empire from the raids of northern tribes.
Here are some Great Wall of China facts that you will find extremely interesting and educative:
- While the Wall was being constructed, many laborers lost their lives. It is estimated around 1 million workers died during the building of the Wall. Hence, it was often called the longest cemetery on earth.
- The Wall is the longest structure ever made by man.
- The most popular part of the Wall lies in Badaling, which is close to the capital city of Beijing. This section was constructed during the Ming Dynasty and it was the first ever part of the wall that was opened to tourists. This occurred in the year 1957. This section was the finishing site for the cycling course during the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing.
- The Wall was made into a UNESCO Heritage site in the year 1987 and is considered as one of the great historical places in the world.
- While the Wall was never part of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, it is considered as one of the Seven Wonders in modern world.
- In the 7th century, several smaller walls were built around states that would go on unite to give the first empire its own wall to protect its northern boundaries from attacks.
- The major construction of the Wall was first done during the Qin Dynasty under Qin Shi Huang, who was responsible for uniting the different states. However, not much of the original wall is present in today's time.
- As the Wall was not one continuous structure, it still did not stop the raiding Mongol tribes from the north. In fact, Genghis Khan was able to circumvent the walls and raid and conquer the northern part of China between the year 1211 and 1233 AD. The Mongols had total control over China until the year 1368, when they were defeated by the Ming dynasty.
- All dynasties that came after the Qin Dynasty added to the Wall. These dynasties included the Han, Sui, and Ming. It was the Ming dynasty's construction made from bricks and stones that stands today and what is popularly associated with China.
- Although many people believe that the Wall can be seen from the moon, this is not true. This myth was started by an American magazine called The Century in the year 1893 and popularized by Ripley's Believe It Or Not in 1932. The Wall cannot be viewed from the moon and there are doubts whether it can be seen from the orbit.
- There are myths that the mortar used to bind the stones together was made up from human bones. However, this is not true. The mortar was made from rice flour.
- According to a Chinese legend, the course of the Wall was made by a dragon and all the laborers had to do was follow the dragon's track during the construction.
- When the Chinese Cultural Revolution was going on in the country from 1966 until 1978, the Wall was associated with despotism. Hence, the people were often encouraged to remove bricks from the Wall and use them to build their homes.
- It was due to Richard Nixon's visit to the Wall that tourism increased there. As a result, the Chinese government renovated the Wall and after Mao Zedong passed away, the government made the Wall the symbol that unified the whole nation.
- The highest part of the Wall is located in Beijing in Heita Mountain. This part is 1,534 meters tall.
- The lowest part of the Wall is located in Laolongtou.
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