The Great Wall of China - The Traveller

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Great Wall of China


Great wall of china
The Great Wall – World’s Largest Military Structure

Under the rule of Qin Shi Huang, in 220 BC, certain sections of the previous fortification had been joined together forming a great military defence system of successive Chinese Empire against invasion from the north and construction were carried up to the Ming dynasty in 1368-1644. This Great Wall came to be known as the world’s largest military structure.It has a total length of more than 20,000 kilometres where the Great Wall begins in the east at Shanhaiguan in Hebei province ending at Jiayuguan in Gansu province towards the west.

Its main body consisting of walls watch towers, horse tracks together with shelters on the walls, also includes fortresses and passes along the Wall and its strategic and historic importance is credited only by its architectural significance. It is an outstanding example of the excellent military architecture, art and technology of ancient China and embodies great significance as the national symbol in the protection and securing the people and its country.

Series of Fortification – World Heritage Site 

The Great Wall of China has been a series of fortification which was made of stone, tamped earth, brick, and wood together with other materials and was built along an east to west line on the historical northern borders of China. It is one of the most amazing wonders of the world and has been listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in the year 1987.

Like a huge dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across grasslands, deserts, mountains and plateaus stretching from east to west of China. It was constructed with the intention to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states from the intrusions of several nomadic groups or military invasion. Most of the walls were built during early 7th century wherein later on were joined together leading in the expansion of these walls, making them stronger and unified.

It has been rebuilt, maintained and enhanced on several occasions while the majority of the present wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. Having a history of over 2000 years, some of the sections have been in ruins or have disappeared but it is one of the most appealing attractions of the world due to its awesome architectural grandeur as well as historical significance.

Great Masterpiece

The mystery of construction of the wall isamazing which drew heavily on the resources of the local for construction purpose that was carried out in line with the local conditions under the contract of management and responsibility system.

The manpower comprised of prisoners, soldiers and the local people who built the wall and the results of the construction portrays the wisdom and tenacity of the people of China. It is a great masterpiece and the only work that has been built by humans and can be seen from the moon,which is an excellent piece of architecture integrated into the landscape.

The Great Wall does carry a considerable part of Chinese culture and has been incorporated into Chinese mythology as well as symbolism. One well known legend is related to the collapse of a part of the Wall which was due to Meng Jiangnu who had cried bitterly at the death of her husband and who had died while building the wall. This legend was related in textbooks, traditional operas as well as folk songs.

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