10 Surprising Great Wall of China Facts

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is the Great Wall of China. The wall has a very lengthy history. In the early years, it protected the nation's trade routes, cultural development, and economic growth. Today, it remains China most recognizable landmark. The facts about the Great Wall of China are intriguing enough to make you want to read the rest of this article! 

1 - The Great Wall took over 2,000 years to construct.

Great Wall of China

Emperor Qin Shi Huang began building a 5,000-kilometer wall to defend his newly acquired land when he conquered the neighboring territories in 221 BCE and established the Qin Dynasty. Building walls around Chinese lands was a widespread practice to defend the populace against foreign incursions. The walls were constructed in the eighth century BCE as obstacles to deter nomadic armies. The work would be continued and further fortified by dynasties that acquired control. The Ming Dynasty, which built the most well-known sections of the Great Wall of China between the 14th and 17th centuries, is chiefly responsible for its construction.

2 - Convicts were occasionally made to do wall labor.

Great Wall of China

Over a million people, including civilians, soldiers, prisoners of war, and inmates, worked on the wall. Particularly during the Qin and Han dynasties, prisoners who had been convicted of crimes like murder and tax evasion were made to work as laborers. Convicts would have their hair shaved, and the military would make them wear iron rings. They were responsible for construction at night and keeping vigil throughout the day.

3 - From the east to the west, there are fifteen key passes.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall spans from the Bohai Sea to the east to the Gobi Desert, which is located 2,500 kilometers to the west, traversing 15 northern Chinese provinces, towns, and autonomous regions. Along the way, 15 strategically significant passes have been constructed.

4 - In Chinese, the Great Wall is referred to as "Changcheng."

Great Wall of China Facts

"Wanli Changcheng," or commonly "Changcheng," is the name of the Great Wall in Chinese. The biography of General Meng Tian, who lived in the latter third century BC, contains the four Chinese characters, "or the Great Wall."

5 - The wall's construction employed sticky rice.

Great Wall of China

Although soil and stones were used to build the wall, the sticky rice was a more crucial component. Because sticky rice has an adhesive quality, it was employed as the mortar. According to studies, the rice's sticky component accounts for the wall's resilience and sturdiness. It assisted in holding the bricks in position and held them together so firmly that weeds were unable to grow in several areas.

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Great Wall of China

Although the phrase "Great Wall of China" conjures up images of a continuous stone wall, this is untrue. What is thought to be a single monument is actually a network of defenses that were erected by various dynasties. Actually, a lot of these walls are parallel to one another. Additionally, not all of these defenses consist of physical walls. Many people often include gorges and geographical obstacles like rivers and hills when referring to the Great Wall of China.

7 - The Great Wall stretches for a total of 21,196.18 kilometers.

Great Wall of China

From the east coast to the west desert in northern China, the entire route is nearly 20,000 km long and winds up and down through mountains and plateaus like a dragon.

8 - It was constructed across several dynasties.

Great Wall of China

The Warring States Period saw the beginning of the construction of the Great Wall. Then, during the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), Emperor Qin made the decision to connect the walls and to unify the entire country. Then, other illustrious dynasties, such as the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), made significant contributions to building the wall. Read This: Tourist Attractions In China: A Great Place To Explore

9 - It is more a succession of fortifications than a wall.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall is a multi-structured defense system that includes beacon towers, obstacles, barracks, garrison posts, and strongholds situated along its length.

10 - China's tragic story is told on the Great Wall.

Great Wall of China

One of the best-known Great Wall of China myths is Meng Jiangnu's "bitter weeping." The story goes that Lady Meng spent three days and three nights sobbing at the Great Wall after learning that her husband had died while constructing the wall. She sobbed so loudly that a section of the wall gave way, eventually exposing her husband's bones.

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