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The Great Wall


The Great Wall is far more than a triumph of engineering. It is a direct link with the legendary emperors of China’s past, and seems to embody our sense of China as a nation separate from the rest of the world. To see the wall – made from brick, stone, tamped earth and wood – snaking away over the parched mountainsides of northern China – is to imagine more than two millennia of cultural isolation and political resistance.


The Great Wall is a series of fortifications that stretches from Shanhaiguan, on the Bohai Sea, to Lop Lake in the Gobi Desert. It roughly marks the southern edge of Inner Mongolia – formerly part of Genghis Khan’s Mongol empire.

Walls were erected in northern China from the eighth century BC onwards, though building was sporadic. During the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC), a connected Great Wall was begun as part of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s project to unify China. From the earliest days, the wall had beacon towers — from which flag, gunpowder and smoke signals were sent, creating the world’s first telegraphy system.

The practice of wall-building was revived with vigour in the 14th and 15th centuries when the Ming Dynasty found itself struggling to contain the nomadic tribes of Manchuria and Mongolia. The 23ft-high, 23ft-thick wall, with its 25,000 battlements, helped to bolster Ming sovereignty.

The wall we see today has vestiges of both the early and later constructions. This discontinuous chain is known to the Chinese as Wan Li Changcheng (“Long Wall of 10,000 Li” – a li is a Chinese measure roughly equal to 1,640ft), or “the Great Wall”. In June 2012 China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage reported – after an archaeological survey that took five years to complete – that the wall measures a precise 13,170.69 miles.

Travel Guide

Opening Hours Admission Fee
April to October: 8:00 -17:00 Adults: CNY 45
November to March: 8:30-16:30 Seniors elder than 60: CNY 25 (valid ID or passport required)
Children between 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) and 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) in height: CNY 25
Children less than 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) in height are admitted free.
Here is the location and video link