The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic structures in the world. It is a symbol of Chinese culture and history and has stood for centuries as a reminder of the power and strength of the Chinese people. While it is widely known and documented, there are still some secrets about the Great Wall that are not widely known. In this article, we will explore seven secrets about the Great Wall of China that no one will tell you.
1. The Great Wall of China is Not Actually One Wall
The Great Wall of China is actually not one single wall, but a series of walls and defensive structures that span across the entire length of the country. This series of walls and defensive structures were built over centuries, beginning in the 7th century BCE. In total, the wall is estimated to have been over 6,400 kilometers in length, stretching from the city of Jiayuguan in the west to the city of Shanhaiguan in the east.
2. Construction of the Great Wall Was Not Continuous
The construction of the Great Wall began in the 7th century BCE and was not continuous. During the Warring States Period (475–221 BCE), many of the walls and defensive structures were destroyed by invading armies. This was followed by a period of rebuilding and renovation during the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BCE) and the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). The Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) was responsible for the construction of the majority of the wall that stands today.
3. The Wall Was Built with Human Labor
The Great Wall of China was built over centuries and was constructed entirely through human labor. Hundreds of thousands of laborers were recruited for the project, and many of them died during the construction due to the harsh conditions and grueling work. It is estimated that over one million laborers were involved in the construction of the wall.
4. The Wall Was Built with a Variety of Materials
The Great Wall of China was built with a variety of materials, including stone, brick, rammed earth, and lime. The materials used were determined by the region in which the wall was built, as different regions had different resources available. In some sections, the wall was even built with reinforced concrete.
5. The Wall Was Designed to Keep Invaders Out
The Great Wall of China was designed to keep invading armies out of China. It was also used to control trade and movement of people in and out of the country. The wall was equipped with guard towers, beacon towers, and watchtowers, which allowed the Chinese to monitor activity at the wall.
6. The Wall Was Not Always Effective
Despite the immense size and strength of the Great Wall of China, it was not always effective in keeping out invaders. In 1644, the Manchus breached the wall and conquered China, establishing the Qing Dynasty. This was the first time in over 2000 years that the wall had been breached.
7. The Wall Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
In 1987, the Great Wall of China was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation recognizes the significance of the wall as an important symbol of Chinese culture and history, and also acknowledges its value to humanity. It is estimated that over 10 million people visit the wall each year.
These are just some of the secrets about the Great Wall of China that no one will tell you. While the wall has stood for centuries as a symbol of Chinese culture and history, there are still many details that are not widely known. Hopefully, this article has provided some insight into the fascinating history of the Great Wall of China.