Zigzagging its way from east to west across the northern edge of the ancient Chinese Empire, the Great Wall is an unfathomable exercise in large-scale construction-even if it’s not visible from the moon.
Although the emperor Qin Shihuang is credited with laying the cornerstone, his wall, made 4 of temped earth in 221BC,linked a series of pre-existing structures into a 5,000km barrier. Every dynasty since the Qin has built, fortified and extended this mammoth rampart, but most structures visible today near Beijing date from the Ming dynasty. The exact length of the wall is unclear, since new sections continue to be discovered—an 80km stretch was found in Ningxia in 2002. Officiall it snakes across 6,200 km of territory and, if stretched out end-to –end, would measure15, 000km.
Contrary to urban myth, the corpses of laborers who perished during its construction were not buried inside the Great Wall. The bodies of overworked drudges were dumped in a ditch alongside the wall. Decomposition under the bricks would have compromised the wall’s strength and stability. Years of tourist encroachment have taken a toll on the Wall. In an attempt to protect this historical site, the Beijing Government has banned hiking on sections of the so-called ‘Wild Wall’. The ban is not always enforced, but bear in mind that some sections of the wall are over crumble with even the most delicate steps.
Not a few Beijing residents have visited the Wall so many times they have become blaze about the ‘glorified fence’ in their backyard. If you fall into that category, you should rediscover who was the first foreigner to traverse the wall’s length from desert to ocean. Lindesay works with the Beijing Administration.
|(1.)Badaling Great Wall||(2.)Juyongguan Great Wall|
|(3.)Mutianyu Great Wall||(4.)Jinshanling Great Wall|
|(5.)Simatai Great Wall||(6.)Huangyaguan Great Wall|
|(7.)Jiankou Great Wall|