The Great Wall of China

Posted by Meg on 2:46 AM No comments

As one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, the Great Wall of China is an unmissable highlight of any tour of China.

The Great Wall, built over two thousand years ago, crosses deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus. It stretches all the way from the Shanhaiguan (Sharn-Hi-Gwarn) Pass on the east coast to Jiayuguan (Jia-Yoo-Gwarn) on the edge of the Gobi Desert in the west, more than three thousand miles away. Walk on the magnificent Great Wall to appreciate its historical significance and admire the panoramic views, whilst reflecting on the enormity of the material and labour required for its construction.

Unlike other Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites, the Great Wall embraces such broad dimensions that nothing else can compare with. It runs across Northern China from east to west, providing protection to agricultural civilisation and ancient trading routes. It spans the history of China from past to present, witnessing the rise and fall of powers and dynasties.

The Jiankou section of the Great Wall is roughly 22 kilometers in length and consists of three parts. The western part from is from Nine Eye Tower which is the most western point of Jiankou to Jiankou watch tower is 12 kilometers. The middle part from Jiankou watch tower to the Ox Horn Edge is 3 kilometers and the eastern part from Ox Horn Edge to the beginning of Mutianyu is 7 kilometers.

Many parts of the Great Wall are gone, a lot are succumbing to the elements. Some have been buried by the desert, some destroyed by people. Still, the Wall stands silently, enduring the passage of time and greeting the changes of seasons.

The Beijing sections of the Great Wall of China
There are over 10 sections of the Great Wall that are all north of Beijing within a maximum of three or four hours travelling. I have listed the six most popular or impressive sections below with the distance from Beijing then given detailed information on each of the six sections.
Badaling 80 Km
Jiankou 73 Km
Mutianyu 70 Km
Gubeikou 120 Km
Jinshanling 125 Km
Simatai 120 Km

Why the Great Wall of China is special
It is by far mankind's most extensive construction endeavor. In its heyday in the 16th and 17th centuries, it snaked 6400 kilometers or 4000 miles across northern China.

Did You Know?
When Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered construction of the Great Wall around 221 B.C., the labor force that built the wall was made up largely of soldiers and convicts. It is said that as many as 400,000 people died during the wall's construction; many of these workers were buried within the wall itself.


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