While the Great Wall of China is not one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is typically included in the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.
Rather than being one long continuous wall, the Great Wall of China is made up of a number of different sections. These sections were built by various dynasties over a long period of time from stone and other materials.
According to legend, a helpful dragon traced out the course of the Great Wall for the workforce. The builders subsequently followed the tracks of the dragon.
As early as the seventh century B.C., a number of smaller walls that served as fortifications and watch towers had been built around the country. Initially each state (Chu, Qi, Wei, Han, Zhao, Yan, and Qin) that would be united in the first Chinese empire had its own individual wall.
The Great Wall of China stretches around 6300 kilometers (3915 miles) in length. If you measure the length of all the different sections of wall, the distance is 21,196 kilometers (13,171 miles).
The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world.
The widest section of the wall is around 9 meters (30 feet).
The highest point of the wall is around 8 metes (26 feet).
Major rebuilding of the Great Wall of China took place during the Ming Dynasty that began in the fourteenth century. Construction during this time was strong due to the use of stone and brick.
Earlier sections of the wall were made from stone, wood and compacted earth.
Numerous temples were built along the Great Wall of China for the worship of the war god, Guandi.
Over a million people died building the Wall and archaeologists have found human remains buried under parts of the wall.
At one time, family members of those who died working on the Great Wall would carry a coffin on top of which was a caged white rooster. The rooster’s crowing was supposed to keep the spirit of the dead person awake until they crossed the Wall; otherwise, the family feared the spirit would escape and wander forever along the Wall.
The Great Wall of China is threatened with erosion. The northwestern sections of the Great Wall are deteriorating so quickly. It is believed that these sections may disappear within 20 years, due to demolishment by nature and human.
Over 10 million people visit the Great Wall of China every year.
In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed the Great Wall on its list of the world’s great national and historical sites.
Contrary to common belief, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space with the naked eye. It can be seen with aid.
It is common to hear that the mortar used to bind the stones was made from human bones or that men are buried within the Great Wall to make it stronger. However, the mortar was actually made from rice flour—and no bones, human or otherwise, have ever been found in any of the Great Wall’s walls.