A marvel of engineering that was built in ancient times and expanded and modernized over two thousand years
Although the Great Wall of China today does not look the same as it did in ancient times, it is an ancient structure. Furthermore, while it was not always able to protect the territory of the "middle state," it was a psychological barrier to many smaller tribes trying to threaten China's development. Read what other secrets this monumental structure holds.
The average height of the Wall of China is 6.5 meters.
The watchtowers rise to a height of 12 meters.
The Wall of China is about 2,700 years old.
The Wall, best-known today, acquired its final form during the Ming Dynasty between the 14th through 17th centuries AD.
Due to the fear of invasions by Mongolian tribes, the rulers of the time decided to build a new fortification based on the ancient wall. The wall stretches from the borders of Korea to the Gobi Desert and is 8,851.8 kilometers long.
The China Wall is visited by 50 million tourists a year.
Due to the alarming number of tourists, which could threaten the structure, Government officials consider possible restrictions on the number of visitors.
More than a million workers were involved in the wall's construction.
The wall was built on stone foundations, with compacted earth that was faced with bricks, and the whole thing was glued together using rice flour and water. It has been calculated that 300 million sq. m. of materials were used in the construction, which would have made it possible to build 120 pyramids of Cheops or to erect a two-meter-high wall girdling the entire globe at the equator.
Every year, the Great Wall hosts a marathon run - the Great Wall Marathon.
The first Great Wall is said to have been built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the 3rd century BC.
At the time, it constituted defensive ramparts made of compacted earth. They were meant to separate the empire from neighboring tribes and emphasize the ruler's power.
The highest point of the wall is the Huanglouyuan section near Beijing. It rises to an elevation of 1,439.3 meters above sea level.
The Great Wall passes through 15 regions in northern China.
The Wall is not a continuous structure.
It consists of sections crisscrossed by rock formations, sediments, or bodies of water. In some places, the wall appears in double or triple form.
The Wall was not an impregnable structure.
In the 13th century, Mongol tribes under Genghis Khan managed to defeat the fortification and take control of northern and central China for nearly 100 years.
In 1987, the Great Wall of China was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On July 7, 2007, the Great Wall of China was declared one of the world's seven new wonders.
The Great Wall of China served not only as a defense against foreign tribes. It was also meant to protect against demons "prowling" the barren lands.
At the time, it was believed that demons could not cross curved structures, which is why the wall does not have a straight line.
The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space.
A term has been attached to the China Wall that it is "the only man-made structure visible from space." However, thanks to specialized research and measurements, experts agree that the Great Wall of China is not visible from space.
The English named the Great Wall of China in the 19th century.
The Chinese called the structure "Wănli Chăngchěng" (万里长城), meaning the Wall is 10,000 Li long. Li is a Chinese unit of distance, called the Chinese mile, equivalent to 500 meters.
Less than 20% of the Great Wall of China from the Ming Dynasty has survived to the present day.
Despite legal protection by the state, in some sections, the wall was dismantled by local residents, who built houses and outbuildings out of the material they obtained.
The best-preserved section of the Wall is located in the Badaling range of hills 70 kilometers from Beijing.
The total length of the Wall at this location is about 5 km.