The famous Great Wall of China is a chain of earthen and stone fortifications situated in the northern part of China. The wall has been built and rebuilt and continuously maintained between the fifth century BC and the sixteenth century AD. Its main purpose is to protect the Chinese Empire borders on the north from the attacks of the Xiongnu during those years of different successive dynasties.
Since the start of its construction in the fifth century BC, a number of walls were being built that were known to be as the Great Wall. Among these series of walls in the Great Wall of China, the most famous is the one that was built between the years 220-206 BC through the direction of Qin Shi Huang, the first Chinese Emperor. A little portion of that wall today has remained to be seen. However, the largest portion of the wall that exists today was built under the direction of the emperor during the Ming Dynasty.
The Great Wall of China extends from the east in Shanhaiguan to the west in Lop Nur. It forms like an arc that almost mark out the southern boundary of Inner Mongolia. It started from the Hushan Great Wall in the eastern side and ends up at the Jiayuguan Pass in the western side. The wall passes through ten Chinese provinces namely Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu, and Qinghai respectively.
The most extensive survey made by archaeologists with the use of advanced technologies gives the most recent length of the entire Great Wall of China including all of the wall’s branches. The entire length of the wall extends for 5,500.3 miles or 8,851.8 kilometers. It is composed of the length of the portions of the actual wall which is 3,889.5 miles or 6,259.6 kilometers, length of trenches which is 223.5 miles or 359.7 kilometers, and length of natural defensive wall like rivers and hills which is 1,387.2 miles or 2,232.5 kilometers.
Other Facts of the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is definitely the biggest cultural ruins that man has ever made. The wall itself stretches through 156 Chinese counties belonging to the ten cities and provinces. The Great Wall made during the Ming Dynasty itself is made of 3,357 wall platforms, 7,062 lookout towers, 723 beacon towers, and 1,026 other kinds of relics. The main part of the Great Wall of China during the Ming Dynasty has an average height of 21 feet.