The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China. The wall is made of stone, brick, wood, and many other materials. It was built to protect the Chinese states and empires against various raids and invasions of the outsiders.
Several walls were built as early as the 7th century BC. These walls were later joined together and made bigger and stronger. These walls are collectively known as the Great Wall of China. The wall built in 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China is the most famous one. However, he was not the first to build the Great Wall. He linked the northern walls of the states he conquered.
The Great Wall were rebuilt, maintained, and renovated over various dynasties. Most of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) period.
What are some interesting facts about the Great Wall of China?
1. The official length of Great Wall of China is 21,196 km (13,170.7 miles) which is about equal to half the length of the Equator (40,075 kilometers). The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world.
2. Most of today’s walls (approximately 40%) are from the Ming Dynasty.
The total length of Great Wall: 21,196 km (13,170.7 miles)
Ming Dynasty Wall length: 8,851 km (5,500 mi)
3. The Great Wall is more than 2,300 years old.
4. The average height of the walls is 6 to 7 meters (20 to 23 feet), and the highest is 14 meters (46 feet). The average height of the Great Wall at Badaling and Juyong Pass is 7.88 meters.
5. Badaling is the most visited section of the Wall. In the first week of May and October, the visitor flow can be up to 70,000 per day. In 2013, 10,720,000 tourists visited the Badaling and Mutianyu areas of the wall.
6. The great wall of China spans across 15 regions in north China: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. The Great Wall of Ming dynasty goes through 9 provinces and municipalities: Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu.
7. Nearly one-third of the Great Wall has disappeared without the trace.
8. The altitudes of the walls vary. The highest point above sea level is the Huanglouyuan in the northwest suburb of Beijing, with an elevation of 1,439.3 meters (4,722 feet). The lowest point is at Laolongtou in Hebei, just above the sea level.
9. The average width of the wall is 6.5 meters (21.3 feet). At its widest, it is 9.1 meters (30 feet) wide at its base and 3.7 meters (12 feet) wide at the top.
10. Every year, more than 10 million people visit the Great Wall of China, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. It had been visited by more than 460 state heads and VIPs from around the world.
11. No further work has been done on the Great Wall Since 1644 (end of Ming Dynasty) for military purposes. Some sections of the wall have been restored for tourism.
12. More than 10 Lakhs laborers were recruited for the construction of this huge project. The Great Wall labor force included soldiers, forcibly-recruited laborers, convicts, and POWs.
13. Great Wall reconstruction and protection began with Badaling in 1957.
14. The Great Wall of China has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
15. As opposed to popular myth, The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space by the human eye without aid.
16. The Great Wall is not a continuous line. There are sidewalls, circular walls, parallel walls, and sections with no wall in areas of high mountains or rivers.
17. In a poll conducted between 2000 and 2007, It was chosen as one of the new seven wonders of the world.
18. In the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), rice flour with gluten was used to bind the Great Wall bricks.
Do you know other Great wall of China facts, please share with us.