How Long Did It Take To Build The Great Wall Of China ?
The Great Wall of China is truly a wonder of the world. It is approximately 8,850 kilometers in length and the height and width of the wall vary all along its length due to the terrain and many other factors. This was not built by any single dynasty or ruler. The wall was restored, fortified further and connected over approximately 2,000 years by many emperors. The beginning in this direction to prevent attack from the north was taken by the Chu Dynasty in 656 BC.
It is a series of interconnected walls and not a single wall. The semblance to the present day Great Wall was initiated by the Ming dynasty which is believed to have been constructed after 1368.
In 656 BC, the Chu Dynasty built a rectangle wall in order to avert invasion from the north. This part of the wall is still seen in the Hunan Province. The intention of the wall was also to interconnect the small cities adjacent to the border of this state.
Many states took to the same idea and constructed walls for first line of defense.
In 221 BC, under the rule of the Qin Dynasty, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi started major restoration work of the already existing wall and fortified it further. This was the beginning of the wall taking the shape of how it stands toady as the Great Wall of China.
Most of the major restorations that followed were undertaken by the rulers of the Ming Dynasty. The Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, assigned the task of these restorations to his son Zhu Di. The main focus was on connecting and strengthening the existing walls. Most portions of today’s Great Wall stands tall and strong with the efforts put in by these rulers.
During the Qin rule, the Emperor unified the warring 7 states and sent approximately 1 million laborers and soldiers up north to reconstruct the wall. This lasted 9 years. The wall was commenced in Inner Mongolia.
Subsequently in the Hun rule from 206 BC to 24 AD most stretch of the wall was completed and extended in to Gansu province in western China.
From 386 to 581 AD, many dynasties which followed added to the wall. The northern Wei dynasty added approximately 1,000 kilometers in the Shanxi province from 386 to 534 AD. The eastern Wei Dynasty added approximately 75 kilometers from 534 to 550 AD. The northern Qi dynasty added approximately 1,500 kilometers from 550 to 577 AD. The northern Zhou dynasty renovated the wall in 579 AD.
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About.com; China Travel: The History of the Great Wall of China