Beijing Travel, Beijing Travel Service
Home | Beijing Travel Guide | Beijing Tours | Beijing Attractions | Beijing Maps | Beijing Photos | Beijing Hotels | China Tours | Beijing 2008
Beijing Travel Service : Home >>> Beijing Attractions >>> Historical Monuments >>> Great Wall
bar Useful Beijing Maps
Beijing City Map
Map of Beijing Area
Beijing Subway Map
Map of Ming Tombs
Map of Great Wall
More Beijing map
 bar Beijing Dining Guide
Beijing Dining
Beijing Local Snack
Beijing Roast Duck
Beijing Imperial Cuisine
Beijing Li Family Cuisine
Beijing Tan Family Cuisine
Recommended Beijing Restaurant Guide
Beijing Food Street
Beijing Dining Guide
 bar Nightlife and Entertainment
Beijing Nightlife
Beijing Opera
Acrobatics Show
Kungfu Performance
Opera Houses Directory
Beijing Bars Directory
Beijng Tea Houses Directory
Movie Theaters Concert Halls Directory
Beijing Night Clubs Directory
Beijing Golf Club Directory
Other Entertainment Directories
 bar  Related Links
The Great Wall Marathon
Pictures and introduction of Great Wall
The Great Wall
 
 

Great Wall

Great WallThe Great Wall of China is an ancient Chinese fortification built from the end of the 14th century until the beginning of the 17th century, during the Ming Dynasty, in order to protect China from raids by the Mongols and Turkic tribes. In Chinese the wall is called "Wan-Li Chang Cheng" which means 10,000-Li Long Wall (10,000 Li = about 5,000 km).

The Great Wall started as earth works thrown up for protection by different States. The individual sections were not connected until the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Qin Shihuangdi, First Emperor of Qin began conscripting peasants, enemies, and anyone else who wasn't tied to the land to go to work on the wall. He garrisoned armies at the Wall to stand guard over the workers as well as to defend the northern boundaries. The tradition lasted for centuries. Each dynasty added to the height, breadth, length, and elaborated the design mostly through forced labor. The Wall in Qin Dynasty was located much further north than the current Great Wall, and very little remains of it.

Great WallThe Great Wall that can still be seen today was built during the Ming Dynasty, on a much larger scale and with longer lasting materials (solid stone used for the sides and the top of the Wall) than any wall that had been built before. The watch towers were redesigned and modern canon were mounted in strategic areas. The Portuguese had found a ready market for guns and canon in China, one of the few items of trade that China didn't already have in abundance.

The Ming Dynasty Great Wall starts on the eastern end at Shan Hai Pass, near Qinhuangdao, in Hebei Province, next to Bohai Gulf. Spanning nine provinces and 100 counties, the final 500 kilometers have all but turned to rubble, and today it ends on the western end at the historic site of Jiayu Pass, located in northwest Gansu Province at the limit of the Gobi Desert and the oases of the Silk Road. Jiayu Pass was intended to greet travelers along the Silk Road. Even though The Great Wall ends at Jiayu Pass, there are many watchtowers extending beyond Jiayu Pass along the Silk Road. These towers communicated by smoke to signal invasion.

The primary purpose of the wall was not to keep out people, who could scale the wall, but to insure that semi-nomadic people on the outside of the wall could not cross with their horses or return easily with steal property.

The government ordered people to work on the wall, and workers were under perpetual danger of being attacked by brigands. Because many people died while building the wall, it has obtained the gruesome title, "longest cemetery on Earth" or "the long graveyard". Their bodies were not entombed in the wall, however. A body buried in the wall would have weakened its structure, so workers were buried nearby instead.

While some portions near tourist centers have been preserved and even reconstructed, in most locations the Wall is in disrepair, serving as a playground for some villages and a source of stones to rebuild houses and roads. Sections of the Wall are also prone to graffiti. Parts have been bulldozed because the Wall is in the way of construction projects.

The materials used are those available near the site of construction. Near Beijing the wall is constructed from quarried limestone blocks. In other locations it may be quarried granite or fired brick. Where such materials are used, two finished walls are erected with earth and rubble fill placed in between with a final paving to form a single unit. In some areas the blocks were cemented with a mixture of glutinous rice and egg white. In the extreme western desert locations, where good materials are scarce, the wall was constructed from dirt rammed between rough wood tied together with woven mats.

The Great Wall is one of the largest building construction projects ever completed. It stretches across the mountains of northern China, winding north and northwest of Beijing. It is constructed of masonry, rocks and packed-earth. It was over 5,000 km (=10,000 Li) long. Its thickness ranged from about 4.5 to 9 meters (15 to 30 feet) and was up to 7.5 meters (25 feet) tall. The Wall is included in lists of the "Seven Medieval Wonders of the World" but was of course not one of the classical Seven Wonders of the World recognized by the ancient Greeks. The Wall was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The wall is complemented by defensive fighting stations, to which wall defenders may retreat if overwhelmed. Each tower has unique and restricted stairways and entries to confuse attackers. Barracks and administrative centers are located at larger intervals. In addition to the usual military weapons of the period, specialized wall defense weapons were used. Reproductions of weapons are displayed at the wall.

Over the past few centuries, the Great Wall has served as a source of building materials for local farms and villages. Aerial photos show that in sections, only the top battlements show -- the center of the wall has filled with sand and silt. The same brutal isolated conditions which made the Great Wall a triumph of engineering and determined planning make restoration problematic and slow.

 
Beijing Useful map Beijing Tours
Recommended fully-inclusive Beijing tour  packages
Private Beijing Tour Packages
Beijing Seat-in-coach Tours
Beijing Private One-day Tours
Beijing Private Transfer Service
Beijing Great Wall Hiking Tours
Beijing Shopping Tours
Beijing Dinner and Night Entertainment  Programs
Beijing Golf Tours
Beijing Car Rental Service
  More Beijing Tours
Beijing Olympic Tour Packages
7 nights Beijing Olympic & city tour
8 nights Beijing Olympic & city tour
9 nights Beijing Olympic & city tour
  More Olympic Tour Packages
Beijing Private One-day Tour Private Beijing Extension tours
2 day Beijing/Chengde
2 day Beijing/Beidaihe
3 day Beijing/Xian
3 day Beijing/Shanghai
3 day Beijing/Guilin
4 day Beijing/Lhasa
More Beijing Private Tour
Beijing Useful map Beijing Hotels
Beijing Hotels
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site Map | Links | Newly updated | Beijing Travel FAQs
Welcome to Beijing-travel.cn, Specializing in Customized Beijing Travel ! Copyright 1987-2006 All Rights Reserver. Beijing Travel Service
reservation@beijing-travel.cn Room 1809, Kunsha Center , 16 Xin Yuan Li ,BeiJing ,China .P.R 100027
IATAMastercardVisa