The Great Wall of China: 6 Extraordinary Facts

By | June 21, 2018

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APRIL 24, 2003: The Great Wall of China, much of which dates from the time of the Ming dynasty - the great wall of China, most of it dating of the Ming Dynasty (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)

The Great Wall of China, one of the Eight Wonders of the World, is an iconic symbol of the Chinese culture. This historical piece of architecture is one of the most ambitious construction projects ever taken by any civilization in history and is visited by billions of people each year. If you ever wondered why, how, and when the wall was built, along with other incredible facts, read on to expand your knowledge of this infamous piece of historical construction.

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Why was the Great Wall Built?

The Great Wall was initially built as a defense system against invaders from northern China. Construction began around the 7th and 8th century BC, because of wars between the Spring-Autumn Dynasty and the Warring States Dynasty. In fact, it wasn’t really a wall at all but a conglomerate of watchtowers, beacon towers for communication, overlapping walls and trenches. Emperor Qin Shi Huang during his reign chose to unite the individual part into one main empire. It also included built-in soldier barracks to be used during times of military battles.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin Dynasty united the individual sections of the country into one giant empire. He began construction on what is known today as The Great Wall, in order to join all the defenses together. In this way, the southern states would be ready for battle against the Mongolians from the North.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), six major defense constructions, the Three Inner Passes of Daoma, Zijing, and Juyong and the Three Outer Passes of Pianguan, Ningwu, and Yanmen, provided a well-fortified defense for Beijing, the capital city of China.