Do you really think that the Great Wall of China is a single and continuous wall? Do you know the total length of the wall? Do you know how long it took to build the wall? There are many such questions that intrigue us…Driven by our hunger for knowledge; we decided to create this post on 20 interesting Great Wall of China facts.
This great wonder which is a symbol of China’s vivid and long history represents an incredible feat of human achievements. So, let us embark on this interesting journey together. Are you in?
Interesting Great Wall of China Facts: 1-5
1. The Great Wall of China is one of the 7 Wonders of Medieval World and not of the ancient world despite the fact that it was built during the ancient times.
2. There is a myth that the Great Wall of China is a continuous and single wall that was built all at once. The truth is that the wall is actually made of wall segments that form a discontinuous network.
3. The wall was not built by any single dynasty. It was rather a cumulative work of several dynasties. The wall was meant for defending the northern boundary of China from outside invaders.
4. The wall is the longest man-made structure in this entire world with multiple fortifications and walls that run parallel to each other.
5. The wall is one of the most expensive construction projects to have been ever completed. The wall was originally conceived in 3rd century B.C. by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (circa 259-210 B.C.).
Interesting Great Wall of China Facts: 6-10
6. Very little of the earliest of the walls built by the Qin (pronounced as ‘chin’) dynasty remain today.
7. The wall, during its construction years, was also known as ‘the longest cemetery on earth’. Nearly a million men died during the construction of this wall.
8. The primary wall is 2,145 miles or 3,460 kilometers long. The spurs and branches add another extra 1,770 miles or 2,860 kilometers.
9. The total length of all defensive walls (including the Great Wall of China) built by the Chinese during the last 2,000 years is 31,070 miles or 50,000 kilometers approximately. Just for the sake of comparison, Earth’s circumference is only 24,854 miles or 40,000 kilometers.
10. After Qin dynasty, the construction of the wall was taken seriously by Han dynasty (circa 206 B.C. to 220 A.D.), the Sui dynasty (581-618 A.D.), the Jin dynasty (1115-1234 A.D.) and finally the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.).
Interesting Great Wall of China Facts: 11-15
11. The Ming dynasty added to the Great Wall of China by building walls of bricks and stones. The most well-preserved portions of the wall were constructed by Ming dynasty.
12. It is being commonly said that in order to make the Great Wall strong, mortar made of human bones was used. The other widespread notion was that humans were buried directly in the wall to make it strong. These notions are completely wrong only mortar made of rice flour was found.
13. Yet another myth surrounding the Great Wall of China is that it can be seen directly from moon with naked eyes. This myth started back in 1893 and the credit for circulating the myth goes to ‘The Century’ – an American magazine.
14. After the initial wave of the myth, it went off focus for some time but again in 1932 Robert Ripley (the man behind Ripley’s Believe it or Not) openly claimed that the Great Wall of China can be seen with naked eyes from the moon. Interestingly enough, man was yet to go to space and hence, Ripley’s claim became questionable.
15. There are quite a few interesting legends associated with the Great Wall of China. One such legend is that the entire route for the Great Wall was traced by a dragon and then the workers followed the track to build the wall.
Interesting Great Wall of China Facts: 16-20
16. Yet another legend is that a farmer’s wife known as Meng Jiang Nu used to work in the construction process. Even her husband used to work as a construction worker but died working there. When she learned about his death she cried so hard and long that the entire wall collapsed to reveal the body of her dead husband which was then buried properly by Meng Jiang Nu.
17. The interesting fact about the Great Wall was that it was never a continuous. It is because of this; Mongol Invaders under Genghis Khan went around the world and eventually conquered most of northern China between 1211 AD and 1223 AD. The Mongols eventually ruled China till 1368 AD but were eventually defeated and driven out of China by the Ming dynasty.
18. It is being said that the Ming dynasty allocated 1 million soldiers for protecting the Great Wall from non-Chinese invaders as well as the barbarians.
19. Prior to Ming dynasty, the Great Wall was built using stone, adobe and rammed earth. Nearly 70% of the wall is made of those materials. It was only during and after the Ming dynasty that bricks were used.
20. The wheelbarrow was invented by the Chinese people and it was extensively used by them for the construction of the Great Wall.