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Chinese Culture >> Travel Reviews >> Great Wall China

The Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China is well known throughout the world and most people have read about or seen pictures of it. The Great Wall of China is the most enormous engineering and building project carried out by humans, especially for its time. Stretching 6,300km from coast to desert, the Great Wall of China is one of the few man-made constructions that can be seen from space. The Great Wall of China is the longest structure ever built. While many sections of the wall are disintegrated and have been left in disrepair, the Great Wall of China is still popular for hikers looking for a challenge.

Visitors can travel the 13 foot (4 meters) wide roadway on the top of the wall. Once on the wall, there may be lots and lots of people. At times you may almost have to get in line to make it through some of the narrower arches. Where possible, natural barriers were integrated into the path of the wall. You can hike up snaking sections of walls, enter the watchtowers and see distant views. If you want a good long walk on the wall then consider the Sarmatia section.

Great Wall of China is an immensely long man-made wall that was built to keep out invaders. Built in the early years of the Ming Dynasty it was completed only by Qi Jiguang, commander of Jinzhou fortressed town in the reigning years of Long Qing. The Great Wall of China was built by soldiers, civilians, farmers and prisoners, primarily during three dynasties: the Qin, the Han and the Ming, although the Sui Dynasty and the Ten Kingdoms period also played a part. It is about 4,000 miles long, and it was built entirely by hand. Signal towers were built upon hill tops or other high points along the wall for their visibility. Chinese scholars say the actual wall left standing is now around 1,500 miles long, down from its high of an estimated 3,900 miles in the Ming dynasty.

The claim that China's Great Wall is the only man-made object that can be seen from the moon with the naked eye is one of our more tenaciously incorrect "facts," a bit of erroneous speculation which was spawned decades before we had the means to demonstrate it true, and which continues to have currency despite having long since been proved false. It certainly isn't visible from the Moon. The theory that the wall could be seen from the Moon dates back to at least 1938. "The only thing you can see from the Moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white, some blue and patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation," said Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut. So we can't see the Great Wall from the Moon, which is about 400,000 km away.

Great Wall of China is more beautiful with snow than summer. The Great Wall of China is the largest construction on earth, yet myths about it are more widely known than facts. The myth of being able to see the Great Wall from space originated in Richard Halliburton's 1938, long before humans saw the earth from space. The book, Second Book of Marvels said that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the moon. Today the Great Wall of China is protected, as it serves as an icon for China. The Great Wall of China is one of the world's true wonders.

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