The Great Wall of China is one of the most recognized landmarks in all of the world. It is a favorite destination in trips to China. However, many do not know the history of the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall but is a collection of short walls that often follow the crest of hills on the southern edge of the Mongolian plain. Overall, the wall extends about 4160 miles!
The Great Wall of China's construction consisted of two phases:
First a smaller segment of the wall designed to keep Mongols out of China, were built of earth and stones during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). Although construction continued slowly for centuries, the wall as we know it started its construction in the Ming Dynasty (1388-1644 CE).
The Great wall stands up to 25 feet high, 30 feet wide at the base, and 12 feet wide at the top.
Mongol invaders however had no trouble breaching the wall by going around it due to its non continuity, so the wall proved unsuccessful and was eventually abandoned.
The Great Wall of China however grew well as a tourist attraction and became one of the worlds 7 medieval wonders. Today, a portion of the Great Wall of China about 50 miles from Beijing receives over 13 Million tourists every day. Tourists even receive a "Certificate of accomplishment" at the first watchtower about a 15 minute climb from the base.
An urban legend started in 1932, stated that the wall of China was visible from space. This has however been deemed completely impossible due to the fact that continents and clouds can barely be seen from the moon. Low orbit satellites however can spot the Great Wall of China.