Beijing The Great Wall Of China

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 The Great Wall Of China (Near Beijing)

The Great Wall of China at Jinshanling-edit.jpg

image courtesy of wiki

The present Great Wall of China is not as old many people believe the original wall. Between the 5th century BC and the 17th century AD there were several stone and earth walls built in the northern regions of the Chinese Empire by successive dynasties to repel invaders.

The first fortifications were built between the 5th Century BC and 221 BC by three warring states who wanted to replace the former Zhou’s Dynasty. Most of these fortifications comprised of earth and gravel sandwiched between largely wooden frames.

When the Qin Dynasty established a unified China in 221BC he destroyed the original fortifications which were now within the borders of the new Chinese State. At the same time he commissioned a new wall on the Northern borders of the new China state to protect his empire from invasion from the Xiongnu people to the north.

The new wall was built stone from the nearby mountains. In the lowlands it was made out of compacted earth. It was built further north of the the existing wall. Its length is unknown and very little of it still remains due to erosion.

In the mid 15th century the Ming Dynasty fought several battles with the Mongols who attacked them from northern China. To protect their territory they built several walls along their borders with Mongolia. These walls were built from stone and brick and often repaired reinforced in areas prone to attack. The strongest and most durable examples can be found along the wall to the north of Beijing.

After the defeat of the Ming Dynasty in 1644. its successors the Qing Dynasty extended China’s borders outwards and the purpose of the wall became redundant. Consequently it was neither extended nor repaired.

The original name of the wall translated from traditional Chinese characters was ‘the long city wall. It is the worlds longest man made structure arcing along the southern Mongolian border from the Shanghai Pass in Eastern China to Lop Nur in the west. Its overall length is 6,352 KM or 3,948 miles.

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Map Of The Great Wall Of China

 image courtesy of wiki

 

 

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