The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone,brick,temped earth,wood,and other meterials,generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical north borders of China in part to protect the Chiese Empire agaist instrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various walike peoples or forces.Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC, Later,these were joined together and made bigger,stronger and unified.Especially famous is the wall built between 202-206 BC by the first Emperor of China,Qin Shi Huang, although little of that wall survives into today.
Since then,the Great Wall of has on and off been rebuilt,maintained,and enhanced; the majority of extenting wall was reconstucted during the Ming Dynasty.The defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were anhanced by the construction of watch towers,troop barracks,garrision stations,signslling eapabilities by smoke or fine,and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.Immigration and customs duties were also managed through gates along the wall.
The Great Wall of China stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east,to Lop Lake in the West,along an arc that roughly follows the southern eadge of the Province of Inner Mongolia.There is no exact measure of the length of the wall. A comprehensive archaeological survery,using advanced technologies,has concluded that Ming wall measure 8,850km, There are 6,259km sections of actual wall,359km of trenches and 2,232km of natural defencive barriers such as hills and rivers.Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall including all of its ancient branches measure out to be 21,106km.The wall travels through the north of Beijing Municipality,about 80 km north of the city centre.
◆ Badaling Great Wall
Badaling is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approxmately 80 km northwest of central Beijing,but still within the Beijing municpality.The portion of the wall running through site was built in 1505 during the Ming Dynasty,along with a military outpost.The highest point is 1015 metres above sea level.The wall at Badaling has undergone heavy restoration.In 1957,,it was the first section of the wall to open to tourists.Now visited annually by miliions including world leaders,the area has seen major tourists development,including hotels,rsetaurants and cable car. Other activities at Badaling are the Great China Wall Museum andthe Great Wall Cinema.
◆Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu is 70 km northeast of central Beijing.The section is one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall.Mutianyu Great Wall was first built in the Northern Qi Danasty. During the Ming Dynasty,under the supervision of General Xu Da,construction of presen wall began on the old foundations.In 1404, a pass was built in the wall and in 1569,the section was rebuilt. Built with granite,the wall is 7to 8.5m high and 4 to 5m wide.There are unque features,such as narrow firing slits on both sides of the wall and the 3-tower construction of Mutianyu Pass. Unlike Badaling,tourists can enter any of the 22 watchtowers along the 2.2km of the wall and the spectacular views are mostly forests and mountans.
◆ Related Readings
-Legend: Meng Jingnv Bring Great Wall Down With Her Tears -South Great Wall
◆ Beijing Tours