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World Tour 01 : Let’s look at the magnificent Great Wall of China | 8 Images

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China.

It stretches over 13,000 kilometres (8,100 miles) from west to east across China. It was built in different stages by various emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), and empires in Northeast Asia. It has gone through many reconstructions due to natural disasters as well as warfare damage or neglect. The Great Wall has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of China’s top tourist attractions.

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The Great Wall consists of numerous individual fortifications. The standards for the “great wall” are different for every dynasty in history, however, there were two major standards. These were built to protect the Chinese Empire against the raids and invasions of the Mongol tribes and other nomadic empires. 

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In its heyday, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), it was guarded by more than one million men. The best-known section of the Great Wall is located at Badaling near Beijing, which is an hour’s drive from downtown Beijing to the east through the smooth pavement. It was visited by Chairman Mao Zedong in 1954, who said: “China is not a superpower, China is a peasant country. If we are to build the Great Wall of China, we can only use stone and shells.”

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The Great Wall of China is an amazing structure. Ninety per cent of the Great Wall is made from earth, which was packed together and then stamped down with the feet. The wall was about 25 feet tall, 15 feet wide and 600 miles long (or thousands of li). The wall has at least 300 watchtowers built along with it for defensive purposes. In ancient times when violence occurred along the wall, soldiers stationed in these towers would launch arrows or drop rocks on their enemies below. The Great Wall was built on the northern continent to prevent northern barbarians from infiltrating China, but it has now become a tourist attraction. Some of the ancient watchtowers were used as military outposts.

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Today, a tourist can visit several sites on the Wall. The most famous site is the Badaling section, which contains six large testaments of watchtowers and wall fragments. Other popular sights include Jinshanling and Simatai, which are located about 50 kilometres from Beijing and are linked with paved highways. You can also visit other sites in Shanxi or Jiangsu Province or tour many other places along the border provinces to see some different aspects of this ancient structure and join in local traditions and customs.

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