The Great Wall of China

The People's Republic of China

The “Great Wall of China” extends over more than 6700 kilometers leading from the Shanhaiguan pass at the east coast up to the Jiayuguan pass in the Gobi Desert. The building of the Chinese Wall began more than 2000 years ago at times of the Qin-dynasty (221-207 BC), as China got united under the emperor Qin Shihuangdi. The wall was built by means of connecting several walls separated from each another, which originally were erected in different previously independent kingdoms.

The wall was intended to serve as bulwark against plundering nomadic tribes. More than 180 million cubic meters of stamped earth were used for forming the basic core of the original wall. The wall was extended then by later dynasties bit by bit.

However, the Chinese wall never fulfilled its actual purpose, namely to serve as line of defense. It served rather as a kind of road, on which people and material could be comfortably transported over mountainous areas. By means of smoke signals, which were transmitted from one tower to the other, it became possible to send news about the enemies’ actions into the capital quickly.

The remnants, which are still standing today, originate mainly from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). At that time, the wall was erected predominantly by using bricks and granite.


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