Facts about the Great Wall of China:
• It is the travel icon of China and a world renowned tourist destination.
• It is a beautifully structured photogenic symbol with imposing watchtowers winding up and down steep hills, cliffs, plateaus and deserts from across the east coast to Xinjiang in the northwest of China.
• It was built by over a million people who happened to be peasants, prisoners and soldiers and thousands of them died in the process.
• It used to be called the Ten Thousand Li Wall which referred to the wall’s length. (1 li equals half a kilometre or one third of a mile).
• It was during the Qin (pronounced as 'chin') dynasty that the modern word "China" was derived.
• The sections in the eastern part of China were built out of bricks and stones while in the western sections of wall were made out of less durable materials – earth and grass.
• The watch towers on the wall served as a deployment zone between one another
Dating back to some two thousand years ago, the Great Wall of China was built as a key to protect the agricultural lands from invasion and to keep the nation’s people from vacating the empire.
Originally built out of stone, wood, grass and earth, the construction of the great wall began in the early seventh century BCE when the earliest regional kingdoms were built solely for their own defensive military needs.
The different watch towers across the wall were used by the army as a warning system. The time warning system during this period used the fire and smoke signals to declare night time and day time respectively. This enabled reliable communication to be relayed from one tower to the other.
Progressively, more sections were added to the construction of the wall as the different kingdoms flourished. It was later during the Qin dynasty (221-206 BCE) that unified China made the wall a whole entity; the wall was built, repaired and further renovated to link the old sections which were previously built to the new ones.
Over the next 1700 years, the Great Wall of China was enhanced and enlarged which gradually became a world renowned manmade wonder.