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The True Story of a Great Wall

Posted on 2016-03-25 | Written by Leo

Have you ever wondered about why you wonder? May be not. But wondering is no wonder a wonderful experience. Believe it or not. So, sometimes we must think as to why we wonder. The answer may lie with the fact that the wonderful world around us is so wonderful that we are forced to wonder. The second answer may be that we are always accustomed to particular things. Any new or change in anything puts us into wonder & we stay astonished as to how the same happened, who made it happen, when it happened, where it happened & so on & so forth. The questions lie unending within our minds. Don't you think so? May be yes. May be no. In that case you may have another answer. Don't you. Ok, now the purpose of going into these questions is to ask another question:"What are the 7 great wonders on earth? " Your answer would be related to the table below:

 

Wonder

Date of construction

Location

Great Wall of China Since 7th century BC China
Petra c. 100 BC Jordan
Christ the Redeemer Opened October 12,1931 Brazil
Machu Picchu c. AD 1450 Peru
Chichen Itza c. AD 600 Mexico
Colosseum Completed AD 80 Italy
Taj Mahal Completed c. AD 1648 India
Great Pyramid of Giza (Honorary Candidate) Completed c. 2560 BC Egypt

The thought coming to the mind is, "Have I visited the names enlisted above?" Then why am I struggling in for in my life if I never had a wonderful experience to wonder practically with the 7 wonders? If I have never visited, I must start with the first one. Exactly. This is where the thought flow takes you to. How would it be, if I would be there? So, first we take you to a theoretical visit inviting & making you realize how a practical visit would be. Let us know some facts.

The Great Wall is a structure made up of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. The history of the wall goes to 7th Century BCE. Other walls were also made to make it more widespread & more protective. The most famous one is the wall built 220–206 BCE by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.

The Great Wall of China stretches from Liaoning Province through Hebei Province, Tianjin Municipality, Beijing Municipality, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi Province, Shaanxi Province, and Ningxia Autonomous Region to Gansu Province within the country of China. It stretches from Dandong in the east, to Lop Lake in the west.

You may think as to why the Ruler built such a great wall for just one purpose. Ya, you are right. He had some multipurpose goals. The Ruler wanted some goods tax from goods transferred through Silk Route (connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea). Watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities & other facilities also enhanced the defensive nature of this wall with respect to fire or smoke. This was the transportation corridor. Ming walls measure 8,850 km. It is made up of sections of actual wall, trenches and natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 kms.

Sima Qian refered to it as "Ten-Thousand-Mile Long Wall" & Book of Song quotes the frontier general Tan Daoji referring to "the long wall of 10,000 miles". Various terms were used in medieval records, including "frontier(s)" ,"rampart(s)" ,"barrier(s)" (zhàng), "the outer fortresses" (wàibǎo) & "the border wall(s)" (biānqiáng). Poetic and informal names for the wall included "the Purple Frontier"(Zǐsāi) & "the Earth Dragon" (Tǔlóng).

Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames. Transporting the large quantity of materials required for construction was difficult, so builders always tried to use local resources. Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains.

The Great Wall concept was revived again under the Ming in the 14th century after the Ming army's defeat in the Battle of Tumu. The Ming adopted a new strategy to keep the nomadic tribes out by constructing walls along the northern border of China. Ming construction was stronger due to the use of bricks and stone instead of rammed earth. 25,000 watchtowers are estimated to have been constructed on the wall. Ming also "Liaodong Wall". The Liaodong Wall enclosed the agricultural heartland of the Liaodong province, protecting it against potential incursions.

The North African traveler Ibn Battuta heard about China's Great Wall—which he estimated at "sixty days' travel" from Zeitun (modern Quanzhou).He spread its reputation through his Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling. He associated it with the legend of the wall mentioned in Quran which was made to protect people near the land of the rising sun from the savages of Gog and Magog. In 1559, in "A Treatise of China and the Adjoyning Regions," Gaspar da Cruz offers an early discussion of the Great Wall.

When China opened its borders to foreign merchants and visitors after its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, the Great Wall became a main attraction for tourists. The travelogues of the later 19th century further enhanced the reputation and the mythology of the Great Wall, such that in the 20th century, a persistent misconception exists about the Great Wall of China being visible from the Moon or even Mars.

The Badaling Great Wall near Zhangjiakou is the most famous stretch of the Wall opened to the public. South of Badaling is the Juyong Pass; used by the Chinese to protect the land which had many guards to defend China's capital Beijing. Most striking sections of the Ming Great Wall is where it climbs extremely steep slopes in Jinshanling. It runs 11 km long, ranges from 5 to 8 m in height, and 6 m across the bottom, narrowing up to 5 m across the top. Wangjinglou is one of Jinshanling's 67 watchtowers, 980 above sea level.

At the edge of the Bohai Gulf is Shanhai Pass, considered the traditional end of the Great Wall and the "First Pass Under Heaven". Wall inside Shanhai Pass that meets the sea is named the "Old Dragon Head". Jiaoshan Great Wall is the site of the first mountain of the Great Wall.15 km from Shanhaiguan is Jiumenkou, the only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge.

In 2009, 180 km of the wall concealed by hills, trenches and rivers were discovered with the help of infrared range finders and GPS devices. In 2015 nine sections with length of more than 10 km were discovered along the border of Ningxia region and Gansu province.

The claim that the Great Wall is visible also appears in 1932's Ripley's Believe It or Not! Strip and in Richard Halliburton's 1938 book Second Book of Marvels. Leroy Chiao, a Chinese-American astronaut, took a photograph from the International Space Station that shows the wall. The China Daily later reported that the Great Wall can be seen from 'space' with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions.

Who can resist visiting & seeing the historical Great Wall after having so much of historical knowledge on it? Every human being likes to listen to stories. The story of great Wall is over from our side. But everyone likes to see the story or evidence of a true story. So, we invite you cordially to come to the real spot & realize the true story rather than read & visualize it in your own thoughts. Because Daniel Webster a leading American senator and statesman truly says, "There is nothing so powerful as truth & often nothing so strange."

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