The Great Wall of China was built slowly over 1,800 years by more than one dynasty. Kid’s Connect.com says, “The construction of The Great wall started in the Spring and Autumn Period (BC 770 – 476) and went on until the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD)… Its building involved some 20 states and dynasties.”
The reason the Great Wall was built in the first place was to protect Chinese civilization from the primitive northern nomadic tribes like the Mongolians, and Manchus. Other invaders were the Huns during the Qin (BC 221 – 206) and Han Dynasties (BC 206 – 220 AD), the Turks in the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618 AD), the Khitan in the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD), and the Tatar, Oirat, and Jurchen during the Ming Dynasty.
“Unfortunately, most of the Great Wall sections built before the Ming Dynasty have almost disappeared,” China Highlights reports, and only a few sections of the Ming Dynasty wall are still in good condition. The following video shows how challenging and dangerous it is to save just one small section of what remains of The Great Wall.
“As the Great Wall was built on mountains or across deserts, it was quite hard for the Chinese people to protect every inch of it, especially those parts of the Great Wall that were built in rural areas.
“Also, the earlier Great Wall sections were made with earth, lime, and even branches, which didn’t make it solid enough to withstand the yearly rains, storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.”
The Guardian reported in 2004 that “Only one-third of China’s Great Wall still stands as tourists take their toll. Two-thirds of the Great Wall of China has been destroyed by sightseers, developers, and erosion, Beijing’s state-run media reported yesterday a warning that the world heritage site is crumbling out of existence.”
It wasn’t until 2006, that the CCP enacted regulations to protect what was left of the wall. The most popular rebuilt sections of the Great Wall are at Badaling (7.5 miles), Mutianyu (1.5 miles), and Juyongguan (located in a mountain pass) where tourists will find 1,700 steps to climb to reach the top of the mountain from the west wall.
UNESCO says, “In 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang (China’s first Emperor), sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty when the Great Wall became the world’s largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance.”
If all of the sections of The Great Wall were rebuilt, they would run for more than 13,000 miles. – History Answers
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.
My Splendid Concubine is now available to read through Kindle Unlimited.