Wonders of the world: The Great Wall of China

Often regarded as one of the most remarkable and interesting sites on earth. The Great Wall of China has proven to be a very popular tourist centres and one of the most visited places in the world, it has been hailed as one of the most astonishing archaeological projects ever
The wall of china was built as a means of protection against attack amongst other reasons as early as the 7th century in the ancient Chinese states, it took more than 2500 years to build the wall. Different Chinese monarchs and dynasties have participated to the building of the wall throughout history. Most of the parts of the wall which are now seen were built by the Ming dynasty around 600 years ago.
The wall has a staggering length of 21,196 km which is more than half of the earth’s equator. Although the height varies the average height of the Great Wall is about 23ft and the highest part is 46ft. Although false there is a popular rumour that great wall is visible from the space

Why was The great wall of China built?
Although it is widely believed that the Great wall was built sorely for security purposes, there are many factors that suggest otherwise, and since the wall’s average height is 23ft, it does not seems tall enough to be an adequate defence wall, in fact, the wall was breached several times by The great Genghis khan founder of the Mongol empire. Apart from fortification there were many other reasons why the wall was built, In 220 BC the first empire of the unified china Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the various walls around the empire be connected and joined to be one larger one in order to depict that the empire is united, according to “Once upon a time, Emperor Qin Shihuang was attracted by a kind of necromancy, which made him generate a strong desire of immortality because he thought his empire could be safe and strong as long as he was immortal. At the same time, a necromancer called Lusheng gradually gained the trust of Qin Shihuang. Qin Shihuang spent a great deal of efforts to seek the elixir, but all of these actions ruined. He asked Lusheng to find the god for guidance. When Lusheng came back, he brought a book which recorded that the Huns would end the Qin Empire. Qin Shihuang finally found an aim to abreact his upset and he ordered the general Mengtian to conquer the Huns. When the soldiers defeated the Huns, Qin Shihuang still worried so much because the Huns had no fixed camps and the safety of the empire could not be guaranteed forever. As a result, Qin Shihuang decided to ask the soldiers, common people and criminals to connect and extend the walls of previous states to defend and attack the Huns more easily” . The wall was built for defensive purposes, for border control and for protecting traders along the Silk Road

The Great Wall of China watercolor illustration

Who built The Great wall of China?
Before Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified china and the Great wall some part of the walls were already built. The great wall was built by different emperor and dynasties over time. The most recent is Ming wall built by Emperor Hongwu of ming dynasty about 600 years ago, the ming wall is the most popular and largest part of the great wall that we see today. In terms of Manpower although we are not sure of the exact number, it is believed around one million men were involved in the building of the war with most of the tedious work being done by prisoners, it was a form of punishment from the government to convicts, soldiers and civilians were also involved in the building of the wall. Rumour has it, that most of the people who worked in building of the wall died in the process either by starvation or fatigue. This birthed the legendary story of the meng jiangnu bitter weeping, the story has is that meng jiangnu who had just gotten married lost her husband of three days to the building of the wall, she wept so bitterly that part of the wall collapsed.

Beijing Great Wall of China

Some interesting facts about The great wall of China
1. The great wall is in fact not a wall, more like Great walls of china. It is a series of walls connected together, however not all parts are connected some parts are scattered such that the wall doubles itself at some places
2. It is often called the longest grave in the world as a lot of labourers died during its construction and were buried underneath the wall although no bodies or bones have been discovered
3. One-third of the wall has vanished, parts of the walls get worn out year by year but the Chinese government is now trying to sustain the remaining parts
4. It cannot be seen from the space, contrary to a popular rumour The great wall can’t be seen from the space
5. There is an annual marathon on the great wall, the annual marathon that is run on the great wall is said to be one of the most challenging marathons in the world
6. Some people stole some bricks of the wall to build their own houses, during the cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976) some people stole part of the bricks and used them to build their own houses, some people even sold it
7. The Great Wall of China became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1987.

Written By Opeyemi David

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