I suddenly remembered my history book wherein I first read about the Great Wall of China when my parents planned to visit China. Seen as a sequence of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, its history starts back from the 5th century B.C when it served the purpose of protecting the northern borders of the Chinese Empire. The Great Wall of China starts from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west containing the actual wall, trenches, and natural protectors such as hills and rivers.
Today, what we see was mostly constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). The entire structure traverses the provinces of Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Qinghai.
A common belief spread through Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’s cartoons is that the Great Wall is the most grand work of man is this wall such that it would be seen from the moon through the human eye. However, in reality and scientifically, this would never be possible due to geometric measurements and distance between the moon and Earth. Another similar argument goes that the wall is visible from a low Earth orbit, say from 160 km. But, even this was proved as impossible.
The Great Wall of China History
Due to the expertise in building the walls, the Chinese began to build this great wall during the Spring and Autumn Period around the 8th century B.C. It was aim to protect the three states of Yan, Zhao, and Qin. Later, it witnessed many continuous extensions and restorations. Started as independent walls, it only became the “Great” wall in the Qin Dynasty when the Emperor Qin Shihuang tried to join the walls together to fail the invasions of the Huns in the north. It was from this success that the Great Wall became a global monument of the nation.
The Great Wall of China Tourist Attraction
Made from bricks, tiles, lime, and stone, the monument’s certain renovated sections in Beijing municipality are mostly visited.
North Pass of Juyongguan Pass:
Called the Badaling, this section is built with stone and bricks of hills and was used by the Chinese to protect their Beijing land via the guards that stood here. It is 25.6 feet high and 16.4 feet wide.
West Pass of Jiayuguan Pass:
Located besides the western edges of the Great Wall of China, this is a fort.
Pass of Shanhaiguan:
Perched near the eastern edges of the Great Wall of China, this fort is an amazing section of the Ming Great Wall where you need to pass via very steep slopes. It is 7 miles long, 5 to 8 m high, and narrows up to 5 m across the top.
South East of Jinshanling:
This is the Mutianyu Great Wall of 1.3 miles making its way along tall and mountains from the southeast to the northwest. Linked to the Juyongguan Pass on the west and Gubeikou on the east, Jinshanling’s Wangjinglou is among the 67 watchtowers at the altitude of 980 m.
Located at 25 km west of the Liao Tian Ling, this section is some two to three stories high. It is said that this wall was not as short as it appears today and that it was silver in color. According to the archeologists, the wall seems to be silver due to the stone from Shan Xi – the land of mines whose stone has the metal in big amounts making it to look silver. But, today, this silver area is not seen due to years of decay.
Number One Pass under Heaven:
This is a remarkable first pass of the Great Wall besides the extreme east built on the Shanhaiguan that is the first mountain that the Great Wall passes through. Do visit the Jia Shan – the only area built as a bridge. The Shanhaiguan Great Wall is known as the Museum of the Construction of the Great Wall due to the Meng Jiang-Nyu Temple of the Song Dynasty.