The Great Wall of China is a unique and amazing building in the history of mankind, to which there is nothing equal in the whole world. Built more than 2,500 years ago, in history classes they told us that the Great Wall of China was more than 8,000 kilometers long. But the latest archaeological studies show that is more than 21 thousand kilometers long! That’s half of the way around the world … How is that even possible?
Why was the Great Wall of China Built?
The Great Wall of China was built to protect the Qin empire from the threat from the North. Then, in the 3rd century AD, emperor Qin Shihuandi ordered to build an incredibly large-scale defensive fortification, the construction of which attracted more than a million of people (slaves, peasants and prisoners of war).
During the erection of the wall, dozens and hundreds of thousands of people died, so it is also considered to be the largest cemetery in the world. At the same time, the quality of the building is impressive – even after 2000 years, most of the wall remained intact, although the main material for it was compacted soil. Moreover, in the solution made for laying stones and bricks ordinary rice flour was found.
But still some sections of the wall were restored already in a later period, since over time they were destroyed under the influence of natural conditions.
Let’s Destroy Some Myths about the Great Wall of China
- “It is the only construction built by man that can be seen from space”. It is not true. The Wall, although is very long, only has a width of 7 or 8 meters and the maximum height of 14 meters. It is not wider than a highway. And in many sections its earthy color blends with the ground.
- Another one of the most popular beliefs is that the Great Wall of China is just that – a huge wall of thousands of kilometers. But it is not completely true. Actually, it is several different walls built over 2,500 years.
- One of the most creepy and sinister myths is that real human bones turned into powder were used as a “cement” for the erection of the wall. But this is fundamentally wrong.
- There is also an opinion that people who died during construction were buried directly into the wall to make it stronger, but it’s also not true – the perishing builders were buried along the building.
Additional Information about the Great Wall of China
There are 3 main sections of the Great Wall of China that you can have a walk on:
Badaling, Mutianyu and Jinshaling. The first one is the closest to Beijing, the one with the easiest access and the one with a wave of hundreds of thousands of tourists that flood the wall. The last one is the farthest, most expensive, most secluded and, therefore, loneliest.Badaling. To go to Badaling you can take buses 877, 919, or 880 north of Deshengmen. It costs 12 Y and it takes 1 hour to get there. You can go by train from Beijing North Station and it will cost 10 Y and take 80 minutes. The entrance fee for the the Great Wall of China is 45 Y and 25 Y with a student card.
Mutianyu. The cost is the same as for Badaling, 45 Y. It opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m. You can get there using the bus number 867 from Dongzhimen station. It leaves twice a day at 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and costs 17 Y. It will take you 2 and a half hours to get there.
Jinshaling. The easiest way to get there is to go from Dongzhimen in Beijing on an official tourist bus for 120 Y. The bus leaves only once a day at 7.30 or 8 a.m. on the weekends. If you cannot go on the weekend, then you can take either of the two public buses. Ask your hotel for the information – that is the easiest way. The entrance to Jingshalin is the most expensive one. It will cost you 65 Y.
The Great Wall of China is a symbol of Asian culture and one of the most impressive architectural works of all humanity.