Hello dear readers of our site. The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world. Located in the northern part of the country and formerly a huge defense line, today it is a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main symbol of the People’s Republic of China.
And today we have prepared for you a number of interesting facts about this fundamental man-made structure.
It is believed that its construction began during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259–210 BC). Allegedly, after seizing power, he decided to strengthen China’s borders by building a 5000-kilometer wall. Later dynasties continued the work of their ancestor, adding their own elements to the construction. But actually it is not. Initially, such a fortification began to be built back in the era of the Chu state (a kingdom in southern China during the Chunqiu era (722–481 BC) and Zhangguo (“Warring States” 481–221 BC). Shihuangdi continued what had already been outlined earlier.
The wall is not a single structure that runs in a solid line around China. Due to the fact that construction has been carried out for many generations, it is not homogeneous. In many places it doubles, sometimes even triples in size. At the moment, some sections of the walls are abandoned due to the fact that they are not monitored. These are almost wild constructions.
In photographs, we often see only the most preserved elements of the wall, which are located near cities such as, for example, Beijing.
Most of the people who were directly involved in the construction of the wall are prisoners. To distinguish criminals from ordinary workers, they first shaved their heads, inked their faces and bound their limbs with chains. This solution was economically beneficial for the country, since the construction was very difficult and any labor was required. During the construction period (which is more than 2500 years), according to some estimates, about 400,000 people died.
During the Cultural Revolution from the 1960s to the 1970s, a large number of kilometers of the wall were destroyed in order to develop infrastructure. Many bricks have been moved to the city for the construction of buildings, farms, etc. From the 1980s to the 1990s, people appeared who would steal bricks from the wall and sell them. At that time it was customary to see how people were operating on the wall, how carts with bricks were taken out from there, etc. This vandalism lasted until 2006, when the Chinese government decided to introduce laws to preserve this truly great man-made structure.
However, it should be noted that today, nevertheless, only 1/3 of the complete construction remains.
As we noted earlier, its construction began approximately in the 7th century BC, and in 210 BC, its feasibility was already considered in defense against the invasion of northern nomadic tribes living in the territory of modern Mongolia and Northern China, including the Huns, Juan, xianbei and tujuei.
However, despite everything, it has never been able to protect China from its most dangerous adversaries. For example, in the 13th century, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, broke through the wall and conquered the north and central China for almost 100 years. In 1644, the Manchu invasion from Shanhaiguan led to the collapse of the Ming dynasty.
For many years, people have argued that the Great Wall of China is visible not only from the orbit of the Earth, but also from the Moon. It all started with the English scientist William Stukeley (by the way, he was the first biographer of Newton), who expounded this myth in his memoirs. After that, he was supported by a lot of people, and this continued until the first man flew into space, and then landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong, an American NASA astronaut, refuted this myth after landing on the moon. He stated that the wall can only be seen from low orbit and that if sunlight and weather permitting. From the moon, it is indisputably not visible.
One of the toughest marathons in the world is the Great Wall of China International Marathon. It was first founded in 1998. However, it still has not lost its relevance. The marathon starts at the Huangyaguan Gate, about 100 km from Beijing. It involves about 2,500 runners who race up hills, through forts, down stairs and through small villages.
For the construction of the Great Wall of China, no cement or sand was used, which is usually taken to hold stone blocks and bricks together. Instead, workers laid out a sticky, gooey rice mixture and placed bricks on top to tie them together.
Its most visited site is known as Badaling and is located near Beijing. A bus or train can take you to this section from Beijing. The site is so popular that over 70,000 tourists a day can visit it during the peak season. And in 2001, more than 63 million people visited it.
In 1987 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it is recognized as a symbol of China and attracts millions of tourists every year. However, until the 20th century, she was rarely mentioned in any works of Chinese art. On the contrary, most of the historical descriptions of this wall can be found not in Chinese manuscripts, but in the materials of ancient Roman writers of the early 4th century.
Since the Ming Dynasty, more and more people have learned about this architectural structure in the West. In the book of the Portuguese writer “Asia 1563” it is said that in China there is a huge, solid wall on which the garrison is built. In 1575, the Spanish envoy also informed his government that there was a huge wall in China. In 1793, the English artist William Alexander made sketches of the Wall of China that Europeans could see. These sketches were used in part by British artist Thomas Allom to create landscape illustrations of China.
Many believe that it is included in the list of the seven wonders of the ancient world. But this is not the case.
That’s all, dear readers. Thank you for paying attention to our Internet resource.