Loading...
You are here:  Home  > 
Warning: Use of undefined constant single - assumed 'single' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/thevistapress.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/dailypress/include/breadcrumbs.php on line 38

Warning: Use of undefined constant ai1ec_event - assumed 'ai1ec_event' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/thevistapress.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/dailypress/include/breadcrumbs.php on line 38

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/customer/www/thevistapress.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/dailypress/include/breadcrumbs.php on line 38

Warning: Use of undefined constant single - assumed 'single' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/thevistapress.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/dailypress/include/breadcrumbs.php on line 54

Warning: Use of undefined constant ai1ec_event - assumed 'ai1ec_event' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/thevistapress.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/dailypress/include/breadcrumbs.php on line 54

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/customer/www/thevistapress.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/dailypress/include/breadcrumbs.php on line 54
Calendar >  The Greatest Human Feat in History – The Great Wall of China

The Greatest Human Feat in History – The Great Wall of China

By   /  January 4, 2016  /  No Comments

    Print    
TR Robertson

TR Robertson

It has been called the greatest human feat in history, the building of the structure called The Great Wall of China. It is the world’s longest defensive fortification built over the period of some 1,500 years. Some years ago, another of the items on my bucket list was checked off with a visit to China and a trip to walk on The Great Wall of China. As another new year begins, this is a chance for many of you to make that bucket list of places you have always wanted to visit. The Great Wall of China should definitely be on that list.

The wall is actually many walls built and connected over the years. The original wall was made of earth, stone and wood. As time passed, the need for stronger building material led to the use of tile, bricks and stone blocks. The Chinese name for the wall is Changcheng, which means long wall. The first emperor to see the need for a protective wall to keep out the “infidels” from the north was Emperor Qin Shi Huang, 259-210 B.C.. Qin Shi Huang is credited with defeating his rivals, defeating and uniting the 7 different kingdoms, beginning the building of the northern wall to defend against the Mongols.

This original wall would take some 10 years to build and extend over 3,100 miles. It was never a single wall, but a series of walls running both north and south and east and west. Over 1 million laborers would work on the wall, 400,000 died in the construction, many buried in the wall. Hundreds of towers were constructed along the way, rising to heights of 30 to 40 feet. Reasons for the towers was to provide lookout stations, housing of soldiers and to provide high places to send smoke signals and beacon fires for messages. There are 6 fortresses located along the length of the wall. The connecting walls would range from 15 to 30 feet in height. As the wall grew in length its importance as providing protection for traders along the Silk Road grew. Over the next 1,000 years emperors would come and go, enemies of China would penetrate the wall and advance into China, then be driven back. The wall would continue to wind through China. By the end of the Ming Dynasty, the wall would extend another 5,500 miles, this time made mostly out of granite and limestone. The total length of the wall is unknown, but a project to measure the total length of the wall several years ago placed the length at 13,171 miles. One of the difficulties in measuring the wall is much of the original wall has been dismantled, destroyed or severely damaged. It is estimated over 30% of the Wall has been destroyed.

In 1211 A.D., Genghis Khan invaded and conquered China, destroying parts of the wall and towns in northern China. In 1368, the Chinese expelled the Mongols and the Ming Dynasty was established under Emperor Yongle. By 1474, the Great Wall’s construction was continued. By the mid-17th century, Manchus from central and southern Manchuria broke through the wall bringing to an end the Ming Dynasty and the rise of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty – 1644-1921. Construction of the wall ceased at this time.

The Great Wall was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. There are several major sites that are visited by thousands of tourists each year. Badaling is the best preserved and most visited part of the Wall. It was in disrepair, but was rebuilt in the 1950’s. Today, at peak times during the year, over 70,000 visitors a day arrive at this part of the wall. This is the part of the Wall we visited. It was a bit crowded the day we were there, but not as crowded as it can get. Badaling is 43 miles northwest of Beijing and the easiest to get to.  Mutianyu is considered the most magnificent fully restored part of the Wall, but harder to get to. Jinshaning is considered the most popular part of the Wall for hiking and having the most beautiful original architecture. Jiankou is the section of the Wall that appears on most postcards and is one of the steepest sections of the Wall.

Like so many structures and sites in the world, The Great Wall of China is a must see on any list. As you stand on the Wall, it is hard to imagine the immensity of this structure. Like so many places we have visited in the world, once you are there you go through a moment of disbelief that you have made it to one of the most incredible structures ever built. We had the same feeling at Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, The Great Pyramid, the Acropolis, the Colosseum, and so many more incredible places we have been able to visit. Make sure you take advantage during your lifetime to have this same feeling. Travel the world when you get a chance.

 

    Print    

Do you want more news like this? We're supported by our subscribers and readers!

  • Published: 8 years ago on January 4, 2016
  • By:
  • Last Modified: January 4, 2016 @ 11:52 pm
  • Filed Under: Travel
  • Tagged With: ,

About the author

Founder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like...

Old School Meets Outlaw Country Music Weekend with 3 Shows

Read More →