Sprawling over a great swathe of China’s Northern Territory the Great Wall of China is one of the most famous monuments ever constructed by man, rivalling the Pyramids of Giza and the Taj Mahal. A definite addition to people’s travel wish lists, the Great Wall of China has inspired visitors for centuries; here we give you the lowdown on what makes this iconic structure such a must see.
Firstly and put quite simply its size! The Wall is over 6,000 kilometres in length, or put another way is longer than the distance between London and New York.
However the wall is actually made up of several different sections which have been built over the last 2,000 years, taking all the different sections into account the distance is close to 22,000km or half the circumference of the equator.
Built to protect China from Mongol invaders, this is easily the longest structure ever constructed by man and with construction starting over 2,000 years ago and continuing until the 14th Century is probably one of the longest building projects ever undertaken.
The wall is made up of a various materials, from compacted earth and wood to stone and brick dependent on what the current technology was at the time of construction. More recent sections of the wall were rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century and are some of the best preserved as they are built our of stone and brick.
Although it is one of the largest structures in the world it is only 9 meters at its widest point and 8 meters tall at its highest, which make rumours that it is visible from the Moon sadly untrue.
The most popular sections of the wall are near Beijing and are a major stop off on many guided tours of China. Particularly the Mutianyu area; where you can take a cable car up to the top for some stunning views, which is only 70 km from the city.
Many portions of the wall have been worn away through time, weather or have been destroyed to make room for construction projects. There is an on-going project to restore sections of the wall around Beijing in the hope that this remarkable structure remains for people to enjoy long into the future.
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