ONE OF THE GREATEST WONDERS OF THE WORLD
The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest wonders of the world, just like a gigantic dragon, it winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 21,196 kilometers from east to west of China.
With a history of about 2,700 years, the Great Wall is one of the largest building-construction projects ever undertaken. Unknown to some the wall actually consists of numerous walls—many of them parallel to each other—built over some two millennia across northern China and southern Mongolia.
Stretching some 13,000 miles (21,000 km) sadly some of the Great Wall sections have fallen into disrepair. However, the Great Wall of China is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance and was listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by UNESCO in 1987.
The Qin Dynasty
The beginning of the wall construction occurred a long time ago, somewhere around 300-200 BC. However, the first major contribution of around 3,100 miles was in the Qin dynasty from 221 – 207 BC. It was done under the rule of Qin Shi Huang.
During the Qin dynasty, the Great Wall acquired a popular name, 'Wanli Changcheng.' In simple words, 'Wan' means 10,000, and 'li' means half a kilometer. So, 'Wanli Changcheng' represents the 5000 km (3,100 miles) of the Great Wall length constructed during the Qin Dynasty.
The Han Dynasty
When the Qin dynasty lost its power, it led to the downfall of the Great Wall. After the Han dynasty took over in 202 BC – 220 AD, their work mostly included the renovation of the damaged wall and increasing the total length to 3,728 miles.
The Northern Wei Dynasty
Basically, the collection of border tribes, the Northern Wei dynasty, 386 - 534 AD, took responsibility for the reconstruction of the wall for protection from enemies. They extended the length of the Great Wall in China by another 932 miles.
The Sui Dynasty
During the 550 – 618 AD period, the Sui dynasty continued the work. Their contribution led to the formation of another 932 miles long section of the wall.
The Jin Dynasty
In 1115 – 1234 AD, a total of around 1,200 miles of the wall segment was built along with restoration work of the old and damaged extensions of the Great Wall.
The Ming Dynasty
The last and the biggest contribution to improving the length of the Great Wall in China was from the Ming Dynasty. It stayed in power from 1368 – 1644 AD and constructed as much as 5,500 miles to the Great Wall in China.
Fact or Fiction? The Great Wall can be seen from space
It was Robert Ripley, the American illustrator who called the Great Wall “The mightiest work of man – the only one that would be visible to the human eye from the Moon”. This statement was, of course, not true. Alan Bean, of the Apollo 12 mission, recounts that all you can really make out on the Earth are lots of white clouds and snow, some blue patches, a little bit of yellow, and—every once in a while—a patch of green. "No man-made structures are visible"