30 Interesting Facts About The Great Wall Of China

The great wall of China

30 Interesting Facts About The Great Wall Of China


How much do you know about the Great Wall of China? Why was it built, are there bodies buried in it, and can you really see the Wall from outer space?

Let’s have a closer look at The great wall of China by getting into its facts and history.


  1. The Chinese name for the Great Wall of China is Changcheng, which means “Long Wall”.


2. The UNESCO recognized the Great Wall of China as a World Heritage Site in the year 1987.


3. The national interest in the Great Wall increased during the early 20th century when foreign visitors to the wall increased.


4. There were no strict government regulations to protect the Great Wall until the year 2006.


5. The total length of the Great Wall is 21,196 kilometers, which is about 13,171 miles or 834,514,560 inches.


6. The Great Wall gets about 10 million domestic & international visitors each year.


7. The average height of the Great Wall of China is 6-7 meters (20-23 feet).


8. The tallest section of the Great Wall is 14 meters (46 feet) from the ground.


9. The average width of the top walking area of the Great Wall is 4-5 meters (13-16 feet).


10. The construction of the Great Wall is said to have begun somewhere around 700 BC. Different dynasties expanded the wall through their reign. The combined age of the Great Wall is 2,300 years.


Image source – The Spaces


11. The oldest part of the Great Wall of China is the one located at the state of Qi. This wall section is said to have been constructed somewhere between 600-700 BC.


12. The original intent of the wall was to defend against the nomadic tribes that came from northern Asia. Later, the wall was used for protection from the Mongols, who were a rising threat to the Chinese kingdoms.


13. The Great Wall of China was built for military purposes. The insurmountable wall made it nearly impossible for invaders to penetrate the heartland of China.


14. Great Wall is not a single wall, but a series of disjointed walls built by different rulers for defense.


15. The wall built during the reign of the Ming dynasty is the most grandiose. The Ming dynasty wall is the one that has significantly stayed intact and is the most popular spot for tourists.


16. Several dynasties built, re-built, and expanded on the existing sections of the Great Wall over a period spanning 2000 years, to give the wall its current form.


17. In its 2,000 years of history, at least a million workers are said to have worked on making the Great Wall.


18. The person who is mostly credited for commissioning the Great Wall is emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty. He built the wall to protect the kingdom from the nomadic invaders from the north.


19. It is speculated though, that the walls could be older than Qin dynasty, and built by unknown rulers. Qin probably was the first who rebuilt and unified the walls to make them stronger.


20. The Qin, Han, Wei, Qi, Sui, Liao, Jin, and the Ming dynasties did significant work on the Great Wall.


the great wall of china in winter
Image source – Reddit
21. The rulers of the Ming dynasty built most of the visible and popular sections of the Great Wall of China.


22. The Great Wall begins at the Jiayuguan Pass in the west and ends at the Shanhai Pass at the east. These are the start and finish points of the major Great Wall section built by the Ming dynasty.


23. The construction stopped in the year 1644, with the fall of the Ming dynasty.


24. There is no fixed number of the steps. The first section, “Stairway to heaven” alone has 700 steps. When one puts together the total steps found across the Great Wall, the number could be in thousands or even tens of thousands.


25. About 22% of the Ming Great Wall has disappeared. The cultural revolution of China from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s saw a surge in the number of people looting rocks and bricks from the Great Wall to build their homes. Now, however, removing a brick or a stone from the Great Wall is prohibited.


26. There was no cement or sand used to bind the blocks of rock and bricks, which are part of the Great Wall. Instead, the workers used a batter made of rice flour. Workers spread the sticky, glutinous mix of rice and placed bricks on top of it to bind them all together.


27. The wall has watch towers at several points, which in the past allowed guards to have a full field of view during patrols.


28. The Badaling section is the most visited part of the Great Wall. It is also the point where the wall is at its highest, at about a kilometer above sea level.


29. The Badaling section is among the most well-preserved sections of the wall. It is also the part that first opened to the tourists.


30. It is said that several workers died during the making of the wall, which brought the wall a nickname “The longest cemetery in the world.” However, no bones have ever been found in the Wall and there is no evidence, written or archaeological, for the slander.


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