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World Heritages - The Great Wall

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The Great Wall

The Great Wall, a world wonder created by the ancient Chinese people, stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. From the time the First Qin Emperor ordered its construction to the Ming dynasty, a period of over one thousand years, these walls never ceased being crated and reinforced. The total length of these walls built in different dynasties adds up to over 50,000 kilometers.

The Great Wall is not just a wall that runs 50,000 kilometers long, but a complete defense system, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups, consisting of a variety of fortified works, including walls, watch towers, passes, forts, encampments, guard stations, garrison towns, and beacon towers.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall was enlarged to 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) and renovated over a 200 year period, with watch-towers and cannons added. At strategic points, fortresses were built to defend the towns, passes, or fords. The passageways running along the top of the wall made it possible to move troops rapidly and for imperial couriers to travel. This complex and diachronic cultural property is an outstanding and unique example of a military architectural ensemble which served a single strategic purpose for 2,000 years, but whose construction history illustrates successive advances in defense techniques and adaptation to changing political contexts.

  • North Pass of Juyongguan pass: Known as the Badaling built to defend China's capital Beijing.
  • West Pass of Jiayuguan pass: This fort is the west end of the Great Wall.
  • East Pass of Shanhaiguan pass: This fort is near the east end of the Great Wall.
  • South East of Jinshanling: This part is the Mutianyu Great Wall connected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east.

Winding and rolling on China's extensive and magnificent landscape, the Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, makes a unique tourist site of natural beauty, as well as a cultural heritage of rich historical content.


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