Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China, view from Mùtiányù section (China, 2019)


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The Great Wall of China is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empires against various nomadic groups of the steppe and their polities. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese states; selective stretches were later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains. Later on, many successive dynasties have built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most well-known sections of the wall were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

Collectively, the sections stretch from Liaodong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, from the present-day Sino–Russian border in the north to Taohe River in the south; along an arc that roughly delineates the edge of Mongolian steppe. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the walls built by the Ming dynasty measure 8,850 km. This is made up of 6,259 km sections of actual wall, 359 km of trenches and 2,232 km of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be 21,196 km. Also, the wall is 7 to 8.5 meters high, and its top is 4 to 5 meters wide.

The photo here has been taken at the Mùtiányù section of the Great Wall that used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.

Source: Wikipedia

Location Great Wall China