5 Interesting Facts about the construction of the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest wonders of the world and was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987.
This amazing historic building impresses everyone who sees it. Due its architecture, the Great Wall is often compared to a dragon, winding up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 21,196 kilometers from east to west of the country. It is one of the most admirable examples of architectural engineering of all the human history.
This historical construction was built over a period of 2000 years. The stone sentry actually consists of many great walls, some dating back to the fifth century B.C. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered these earlier long wall sections linked and extended with watchtowers to protect the new empire from marauding northern tribes. Succeeding emperors and dynasties continued the construction, spreading westward into the Gobi desert to guard the famous Silk Road.
Considering its defensive nature, this monument can teach us a lot about building and engineering skills throughout ancient China as well as its military history and strategies.
Continue to read to learn 5 Interesting Facts about the construction of the Great Wall of China:
Rice, rice everywhere
Chinese scientists have found that the secret of the strength and longevity of the Great Wall of China lies in the sticky rice that was used as its mortar. Workers built the Ming dynasty sections of the Great Wall about 600 years ago by mixing together a paste of sticky rice flour and slaked lime, the standard ingredient in mortar. What a delicious construction.
The longest cemetery
Like many historical buildings that have been preserved until our days, the Great Wall of China hides a very dark side. In its construction, no machinery was used, so all the stones were carried by man. Since the Great Wall was finished, it has been called the longest cemetery on Earth, because over a million people died during its construction.
The occasion makes the thief
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution between the years 1966 and 1976, many bricks of the Great Wall were stolen to build homes, farms and reservoirs. Due to this fact, the preservation of the Great Wall is not so good. At least, the stones were used in a good cause.
You can’t see it from the space
The Great Wall is more than 2300 years old and is the largest historical built wall all over the world. Although the amazing structure of this historical construction, it isn’t possible to observe it from the space in naked eye, in contrary to what is believed. It is big, but not so big.
The crowd of tourists
This military building structure raised during Imperial China is strong enough to be visited by over 10 million people over the year. People arrive from all over the world and from all cultures and social classes. There must be no wall more trodden and desired.