About sight: Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China can be considered as the symbol of Beijing and the entire country. It stretched for over 8 000 kilometers, from Liaodong Bay to the far reaches of Desert Gobi. It is the greatest human-made construction, which has ever been erected on the planet.

The history of its construction dates back to the Warring States Period when the Emperor Qin Shi Huang commissioned the wall, which would defend the Middle Empire from Manchurian nomads, who abode in the north. By the way, another great landmark of China has also been related to the name of this emperor. It is the Terracotta Army guarding his tomb in the city of Sian.

They began to erect the first sectors of the Wall as far back as 220 B.C. Under the Emperor Qin Shi Huang 500 000 workers were able to build a considerable length of the Wall stretching for 3 000 kilometers, however, the Wall reached its today length of 8 000 kilometers only about a thousand and half years later.

For several centuries, when arrows and spears were the main weapons, the Wall played an important role in defense of the borders of the country. The towers were erected all along the Wall. The watching towers are at the distance of two bowshots. It made it possible to sweep all its approaches. The garrison towers were located at the distance of 20 from one another. For centuries the Wall had been inaccessible, but for two occasions when the enemies could break through it, and that only by way of ruse and betrayal.

In XVII century, after China had been invaded by the Manchurian (and it was built just to defend from these nomads), the Walls wasn’t necessary, and with all around adoption of firearms and guns, it was forsaken altogether. So, the degradation of the Wall had begun.

If you decided to go to Beijing, you should go to the Great Wall of China as well. Notwith-standing that the Wall stretches for thousands of kilometers, its restored parts, which are most often visited by tourists, are just near Beijing.

Badaling is the most famous sector of the Great Wall of China. It is 60 km of Beijing. The nearby sectors of Mutianyu and Simatai are also opened for visiting. It would be reasonable to combine you trip to the Wall with a visit to the complex of Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty. They are monumental constructions where emperors were buried in XV century.

Badaling dates from XVI century and has been completely restored today. The walls are about 8 meters high and 5 meters wide. The highlands are quite picturesque in the sector of Badaling, especially if seen from the «Uppermost Tower» giving you a nice view of the neighboring valley. However, it is the most visited portion of the Wall.

The sector of Mutianyu is less restored but the reliefs are steeper there than in Badaling. The Wall is winding along the slopes and steeps. There is a point where three branches of the wall are converged and watching towers are at huge heights.

The sector of Simatai is 110 km of Beijing. Its length is 19 kilometers. Simatai has retained its original appearance and wasn’t restored. It makes it difficult to move around it, especially up the steep slopes, but mountain landscapes have always attracted tourists.

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