The Great Wall of China is presently a symbol of national pride in China. China struggles with how to supervise and save the Great Wall while controlling the mass-market development of it. The China Great Wall Society and the International Friends of the Great Wall, both the two organizations are dedicated to its safety.
1. The Chinese Great Wall is the longest man made wall in the world. The Great Wall of China, recognized as “Long Wall of 10,000 Li” (a Li is a measure of distance, about 1/3 of a mile) in China, extends about 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers). The height of the Great Wall of China is 25 feet in some places and ranges from 15-30 feet wide. The highest point of the Great Wall is in Beijing at Heita Mountain (5,033 feet/1,534 meters). The lowest point is at Laolongtou (sea level).
2. When The Great Wall of China was being constructed, it was called â€œthe longest cemetery on earthâ€ because more than one million people died during its construction.
3. The most visited section of the Chinese Great Wall is situated in Badaling, near Beijing city, This part of the Great Wall was constructed during the Ming Dynasty. It was the first section of the Great Wall which was opened for tourists in 1957. When American President Nixon visited to China, it amazingly increased tourism to the Great Wall. With increased tourism, sections of the Wall were restored, and after Mao Zedongâ€™s death, the Chinese government recognized the Wall as a unifying symbol of the nation. In 2004, over 41.8 million foreign tourists visited to the Great Wall of China.
4. The Chinese Great Wall history is very amazing. Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty constructed the earliest walls during his reign (260-210 B.C.) who first unified China and is the most famous for the standing terra cotta army left to guard his tomb. The modern word â€œChinaâ€ is derived from the Qin (pronounced â€œchinâ€) dynasty.
5. Because the Great Wall was discontinuous, Mongol invaders led by Genghis Khan had no difficulty crossing the Great Wall and later they occupied most of northern China between A.D. 1211 and 1223. They ruled all of China until 1368 when the Ming overpowered the Mongols.
6. The Great Wall has often been compared to a dragon. In China, the dragon is a defensive theology and is identical with springtime and vital energy. The Chinese believed the earth was packed with dragons which gave shape to the mountains and formed the tendon of the land. According to myth, a helpful dragon traced out the course of the Great Wall for the builders. Later on the builders followed the tracks of the dragon.
7. At one time, family members of those who died constructing on the Great Wall would carry a coffin. A caged white fowl was on the top the coffin. The fowlâ€™s crowing was supposed to keep the spirit of the dead person awake until they crossed the Wall; otherwise, the family feared that the spirit would escape and roam for ever along the Wall.
8. Watchtowers were built at regular intervals along the Great Wall and could be up to 40 feet tall. They were used as lookouts and fortresses as well as for housing garrisons of troops and stockpiled supplies. They were also signal stations, where beacons, smoke, or flags were used for messages. They also represented a tremendous diversity of architectural styles.
9. Different parts of the Great Wall were surrounded by defensive moats, which were either full of water or left as ditches. To defend the Great Wall, the Chinese would use axes, sledge hammers, lances, crossbows, halberds, and a Chinese invention- gunpowder as weapon.
10. Many temples were constructed along the Great Wall for the worship of the war god, Guandi.
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