Historical Places – The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China happens to be one of the greatest wonders of the world. It winds through grasslands, mountains and deserts for roughly 6,500 km (over four thousand miles). There are several key facts about great wall that bear bringing to mind:

* History: The Great Wall was erected as a defense structure by the states of Yan, Zhao and Qin. The Wall was extended several times, and later went through much repair and upkeep. The Wall didn’t become the ‘Great Wall’ until under the Qin Dynasty, when the walls were joined together for protection against the Hans from the north.

* Construction: The walls were constructed by stamping earth and gravel between board frames. The work was employed by sheer manpower – locals, prisoners and soldiers all worked together to raise the W all, to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from attacks from Xiongnu. At one point the Wall was guarded by more than one million men.

* Culture: Even more facts about great wall can be learned when we examine the culture behind the Wall. In Chinese mythology and symbolism, it is said that the collapse of one part of the Wall was brought down by Meng Jiangnu, who was distraught by the death of her husband during the construction of the Wall. This legend is widely known in the Chinese culture, and is taught in their textbooks, and traditional songs and operas.

Here are some interesting facts about great wall. The Wall survived through several dynasties over the years, namely the Jin, Northern, Sui and Han dynasties. Factions of each dynasty repaired and rebuilt the Wall to retain the fortification and protection it offered. The Great Wall was once again revived during the Ming Dynasty. The Ming constructed more walls along the northern border of China to keep the nomadic tribes out. The Ming’s, however, used stronger materials, such as bricks, tiles, stone and lime. Construction moved along very quickly with these materials.

By the end of the Shun Dynasty, the Great Wall protected the empire from the Manchu, who were invading them around the year 1600. The Ming army was able to prevent the Manchus from entering China, but in the mid 1600’s the Manchus seized Beijing when the gates were opened near Shanhaiguan. One of the little known facts about great wall, is that it is actually several walls, each wall being built at different times in history, but always with the concept of protecting the Chinese.

Today, the Wall is mostly in a state of disrepair. Some of the neighboring communities have used the stones to build their houses and roads. The Wall is also subject to vandalism and graffiti. No one knows exactly how much of the Wall remains, but there are some facts about great wall that can never be taken away. Even in its present state of dissaray, the Wall still represents China in all her glory.