30 Fun Great Wall of China Facts You Should Know

Written by Matteo Updated Jul. 6, 2023

The Great Wall of China, spanning thousands of kilometers across China, stands as a tangible reminder of the country's rich cultural heritage. As we delve into this article, prepare to be amazed by 30 intriguing and fun facts about the Great Wall of China that are sure to deepen your appreciation for this extraordinary wonder.

the great wall of china
the great wall of china

1. The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world

The official length of the Great Wall is 21,196.18 kilometers. It is the longest man-made structure in the world, and it would take at least 18 months to walk the entire length of the Great Wall.

2. The Great Wall is not just a solitary wall.

It is a complete defensive engineering system consisting of walls, enemy towers, pass cities, bastions, garrison cities, garrisons, and beacon towers. This defensive engineering system is commanded and controlled by military command systems at various levels.

3. The earliest Great Wall in China was built by the State of Chu.

Chu first built the Great Wall to repel Qi. Ruins can be seen in Henan and Hubei provinces in China.

4. The wall was not built in a single period but rather over several centuries. The initial construction began during the 7th century BC, and the last major additions were made during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).

5. Much of today's Great Wall was built and rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty is 8,851 km long and it was during the Ming Dynasty, the wall was reinforced and the earlier wooden parts were rebuilt into stone ones to provide better protection.

6. The Outer Great Wall, located in Shanxi and Hebei, essentially coincides with the provincial border of Inner Mongolia.

7. Glutinous rice flour is used as a binding material.

The majority of the Great Wall is constructed using bricks that are bonded together using a mixture of lime mortar and glutinous rice flour. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most fascinating facts about the Great Wall of China, as it is so different from the sand and cement we use in modern construction.

8. The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space.

The fact that astronauts can see the Great Wall with the naked eye from space is a message that has spread around the world but it is not true.

9. Building the Great Wall probably required more manpower than building the Pyramids of Giza.

Building and repairing the Great Wall has been going on for centuries. Millions of peasants, soldiers, and prisoners were involved in its construction, many of whom died.

10. There are about 7,000 beacon towers on the Great Wall.

The average distance between the two towers is 5,000 meters, in some sections, the distance is 2,500 meters.

11. A third of the walls of the Great Wall have disappeared.

Many parts of the wall have already been damaged due to erosion and nature itself This is still happening in some unrestored areas, and erosion is likely to destroy more wall sections in the coming years.

12. The Great Wall was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Its rich history, cultural significance, and architectural grandeur have been recognized by the international community.

13. Contrary to popular belief, the primary purpose of the Great Wall was not to keep out invading Mongols. It served as a defensive fortification, allowing for better border control, trade regulation, and the prevention of smuggling.

14. Along the Great Wall, there were beacon towers used for communication purposes. Smoke signals or fire beacons were employed to relay information across long distances.

15. One way the builders protected the Great Wall from corrosion over time was by mixing sticky rice with mortar. This unique ingredient made the wall's construction more durable, as demonstrated by certain sections remaining intact for centuries.

16. While the main purpose of the Great Wall was to provide defense against invasions from the north, it also served as a means of border control, regulating trade and immigration, as well as facilitating the transportation of goods along the Silk Road.

17. Along the Great Wall, you can find unique structures like the famous "Eagle Flies Facing Upward" watchtower. These towers were designed not only for defense but also for effective communication between the different sections of the wall.

18. The Qin dynasty (221-206 BC) was the first to connect separate walls and form the initial foundation of the Great Wall.

19. The architectural techniques used in the construction of the Great Wall have influenced other structures in China and worldwide.

20. The Great Wall of China attracts millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the world.

21. The Great Wall is not a straight line but instead follows a winding path due to geographical considerations.

22. The Great Wall has become a popular destination for marathon runners, hosting annual races.

23. The wall has been featured in several films, including the famous 1998 movie "Mulan."

24. The wall passes through diverse landscapes, including mountains, deserts, and plains.

25. Some sections of the Great Wall are open to visitors for hiking and exploration, providing an unparalleled experience.

26. The Great Wall was designed to be wide enough for soldiers to patrol, and in some places, it was wide enough to accommodate horses and chariots.

27. The materials used to build the wall varied along its length, including stones, earth, wood, and bricks.

28. Over time, the Great Wall has been damaged by weathering, erosion, and human activities. Restoration efforts have been ongoing to preserve and maintain its sections.

29. The wall is not completely impenetrable. There are several passes and gates where invaders could potentially enter.

30. In recognition of its historical significance, the Great Wall of China was included in the New Seven Wonders of the World list.

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