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Encyclopedia > Great Wall
The Great Wall in the winter
The Great Wall in the winter

The Great Wall of China (Traditional Chinese: 萬里長城; Simplified Chinese: 万里长城, pinyin: Wànlǐ Chángchéng; literally "The long wall of 10,000 Li (里)¹") is a Chinese fortification built from the 5th century BC until the beginning of the 17th century, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids by Hunnic, Mongol, Turkic, and other nomadic tribes coming from areas in modern-day Mongolia and Manchuria. Several walls, also referred to as the Great Wall of China, were built since the 5th century BC, the most famous being the one built between 220 BC and 200 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang; this wall was located much further north than the current wall built during the Ming Dynasty, and little of it remains. Download high resolution version (2048x1299, 2189 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (2048x1299, 2189 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... For other senses of this word, see winter (disambiguation). ... Traditional Chinese characters are one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiÇŽntǐzì; also Simplified Chinese: 简化字; Traditional Chinese: 簡化字; pinyin: jiÇŽnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... Pinyin is a system of romanization (phonemic notation and transcription to Roman script) for Standard Mandarin, where pin means spell and yin means sound. The most common variant of pinyin in use is called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: , Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n), also known as scheme... Li: A Chinese unit of distance, 里 (Lǐ), a li is equal to 500 metres, or about 1/3 mile. ... Table of Fortification, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 5th century BC started on January 1, 500 BC and ended on December 31, 401 BC. // The Parthenon of Athens seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... The Huns were a confederation of Eurasian tribes who appeared in Europe in the 4th century, the most famous person being Attila. ... Mongols (Mongolian: Монгол Mongol) are an ethnic group that originated in what is now Mongolia, Russia, and China or more specifically on the Central Asian plateau north of the Gobi desert and south of Siberia. ... This article is about the various peoples speaking one of the Turkic languages. ... Any non clear-cut connection is denoted by a question mark (?) beside the equivalences. ... Manchuria (Manchu: Manju; Traditional Chinese: 滿洲; Simplified Chinese: 满洲; pinyin: MÇŽnzhōu, Russian: ) is a vast territorial region in northeast Asia. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC - 220s BC - 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC Years: 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC 221 BC - 220 BC - 219 BC 218 BC... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC - 200s BC - 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC Years: 205 BC 204 BC 203 BC 202 BC 201 BC - 200 BC - 199 BC 198 BC... The Emperor of China (Chinese: ; pinyin: Huángdì) was the title given to the rulers of China from the founding of the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. ... Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: ; Pinyin: Qín Shǐ Huáng; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (November / December 260 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE, and then the first emperor of a unified China... For other uses, see Ming. ...


The Great Wall is the world's largest man-made structure, stretching over a formidable 6,352 km (3,948 miles), from Shanhai Pass on the Bohai Sea in the east, at the limit between "China proper" and Manchuria (Northeast China), to Lop Nur in the southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region [1]. Along most of its arc, it roughly delineates the border between North China and Inner Mongolia. To help compare different orders of magnitude this page lists lengths between 106 and 107 m (1,000 and 10,000 km). ... A mile is a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, United States customary units and Norwegian/Swedish mil. ... First Gate Under Heaven, under repairs in 2003. ... A map showing the location of the Bohai Sea. ... China proper refers to the historical heartlands of China in the context of that paradigm which contrasts these heartlands with frontier regions of Outer China (including sections of Inner Asia and other regions). ... Lop Nur (ear-shaped) from space, September 1992 Lop Nur (Lake Lop; alternately Lop Nor, Lo-pu po or Taitema Lake) is a group of small, now seasonal salt lakes and marshes between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts in the southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwestern China... Xinjiang (Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: Xīnjiāng; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: New Frontier; Uyghur: شينجاڭ) Uyghurs Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan, Eastern Turkestan (Turkestan also spelt Turkistan... Inner Mongolia (Mongolian: ᠥᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠣᠨᠺᠤᠯᠤᠨ ᠥᠪᠡᠷᠲᠡᠺᠡᠨ ᠵᠠᠰᠠᠬᠤ ᠣᠷᠤᠨ r Mongghul-un bertegen Jasaqu Orun; Chinese: 内蒙古自治区; Hanyu Pinyin: N...

Contents

Notable areas

The “North Pass” of Juyongguan Pass is known as the Badaling. This particular area of the Great Wall is where most tourists visit. When used by the Chinese to protect their land, this wall was well manned by guards so as to guard China’s capital, Beijing. However, Badaling is very difficult to access. Made out of stone and bricks from the hills, this portion of the Great Wall is 7.8 meters high, and 5 meters wide. Juyongguan or Juyonguan Pass is located in an 18 kilometer-long valley named Guangou which is inside Changping County more than 50 kilometers from Beijing City. ... Badaling (s. ... Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: BÄ›ijÄ«ng; IPA: ), a city in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ...


Representing the Ming Great Wall, Jinshanling is considered to have the most striking sights of the Great Wall. It runs 11 kilometers long, ranges from 5 to 8 meters in height, and 6 meters across the bottom, narrowing up to 5 meters across the top. Wangjinglou is one of Jinshanling’s 67 watchtowers, rising 980 meters above sea level. A watchtower is a type of fortification. ...


Shanhaiguan Great Wall is referred to as the “Museum of the Construction of the Great Wall”, because of a temple, the Meng Jiang-Nu Temple, built during the Song Dynasty. The Shanhaiguan Great Wall is known for many different things, both with the construction of the wall, and also its history. The Song Dynasty (Chinese: ) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. ...


The first pass of the Great Wall was located on the Shanhaiguan (known as the “Number One Pass Under Heaven”), the first mountain the Great Wall climbs, Jia Shan, is also located here, as is the Jiumenkou, which is the only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge. First Gate Under Heaven, under repairs in 2003. ...


Characteristics of the Wall

Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from earth, stones and wood. Due to the difficulty in transporting the large quantity of materials required for construction, builders always tried to use local resources. Over the mountain ranges, the stones of the mountain were exploited and used; while in the plains, earth was rammed into solid blocks to be used in construction. Rammed Earth is an old building material that has seen a revival in recent years as people seek low-impact building materials and natural building methods. ...


Before and during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), because the earth buildings could withstand the strength of small arms such as swords and spears and there was low technology of productivity, the Great Wall was primarily built by stamping earth between board frames. Consequently, only walls of just earth or earth with gravel inside were built. No fortresses were constructed along the wall, and no bricks were used in the gates at the wall's passes. Much of these sections have eroded away by now. During the time following the Han Dynasty (202-220 AD), earth and crude stones remained common building tools. The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: ; Pinyin: Qín Cháo; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the Zhou Dynasty and followed by the Han Dynasty in China. ... The Han Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Han Chau; 206 BC–AD 220) followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. ...


Bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall during the Ming Dynasty, as well as materials such as tiles, lime, and stone. Bricks were easier to work with than earth and stone as their small size and light weight made them convenient to carry and augmented construction speed. Additionally, they could bear more weight and retain their integrity than rammed earth. Stone, though more difficult to use, can better hold well under its own weight than brick. Consequently, stones cut in rectangular shapes were used for the foundation, inner and outer brims, and gateways of the wall. An old brick wall in English bond laid with alternating courses of headers and Brick is an artificial stone made by forming clay into rectangular blocks which are hardened, either by burning in a kiln or sometimes, in warm and sunny countries, by sun-drying. ... Mission, or barrel, roof tiles A tile is a small, manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as clay or stone used for covering roofs, floors, and walls, or other objects such as tabletops. ... Lime has several meanings: Look up Lime in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Lime (mineral) - a group of calcium compounds and minerals in which they predominate, including: Limestone Agricultural lime - a mineral soil additive Calcium oxide (also quicklime) - a chemical compound Calcium hydroxide (also slaked lime) - a chemical compound Lime (fruit... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A gate is a point of entry to a space enclosed by walls, or an opening in a fence. ...


The steps that form the Great Wall of China are very steep and tall in some areas of the wall. Tourists often become exhausted climbing the wall, and traverse no more than a mile because of this reason. Along the wall on either side, are “holes” where the builders of the Great Wall didn’t place any bricks. They are a little over a foot tall, and about 9 inches in width. These holes were used to shoot arrows out of when being attacked.


Condition

The Great Wall at Mutianyu, near Beijing
The Great Wall at Mutianyu, near Beijing

While some portions near tourist centers have been preserved and even reconstructed, in many locations the Wall is in disrepair, serving as a playground for some villages and a source of stones to rebuild houses and roads. Sections of the Wall are also prone to graffiti and vandalism. Parts have been destroyed because the Wall is in the way of construction sites. Intact or repaired portions of the Wall near developed tourist areas are often plagued with hawkers of tourist kitsch. After one of the many runs for charity along the Great Wall, H.J.P Arnold questioned several runners about the status of the wall. A typical response was "The wall was clearly discernible and only moderately eroded along 22% of the run. The Wall was usually discernible but frequently broken/eroded 41% of the run, and scarcely discernible and almost totally eroded 37% of the run." Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 1265 KB) Summary Great wall of China at Mutianyu near Beijing. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 1265 KB) Summary Great wall of China at Mutianyu near Beijing. ... Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70km northeast of Beijing. ... Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: Běijīng; IPA: ), a city in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Graffiti is the unofficial application of graphics on publicly viewable surfaces. ... A caricature of Gustave Courbet taking down a Morris column, published by Le Père Duchêne illustré magazine Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement destruction of a structure or symbol against the will of the owner/governing body. ... Kitsch is a German term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. ...


Watchtowers and barracks

Watchtower
Enlarge
Watchtower

The wall is complemented by defensive fighting stations, to which wall defenders may retreat if overwhelmed. With more than 10,000 watch towers (which were used to store weapons, house troops, and send smoke signals), each tower has unique and restricted stairways and entries to confuse attackers. Barracks and administrative centers are located at larger intervals. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1958x1469, 2352 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Great Wall of China Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1958x1469, 2352 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Great Wall of China Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ...


Communication between the army units along the length of the Great Wall, including the ability to call reinforcements and warn garrisons of enemy movements, was of high importance. Signal towers were built upon hill tops or other high points along the wall for their visibility.


Recognition

The Great Wall of China in 1907, as photographed by Herbert Ponting. Over the centuries, there had been a number of attempts to build some sort of fortification or earthworks along this route, but the wall that appears here was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The Great Wall of China in 1907, as photographed by Herbert Ponting. Over the centuries, there had been a number of attempts to build some sort of fortification or earthworks along this route, but the wall that appears here was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The Wall was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1275x1473, 1445 KB)Source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1275x1473, 1445 KB)Source: http://www. ... Herbert G. Ponting (1870-1935) was a professional photographer. ... For other uses, see Ming. ... UNESCO logo UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Mao Zedong had a saying, Simplified Chinese: 不到长城非好汉, Traditional Chinese: 不到長城非好漢, pinyin: Bú dào Chángchéng fēi hǎo hàn, roughly meaning "You're not a real man if you haven't climbed the Great Wall". To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... Traditional Chinese characters are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... Pinyin is a system of romanization (phonemic notation and transcription to Roman script) for Standard Mandarin, where pin means spell and yin means sound. The most common variant of pinyin in use is called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: , Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n), also known as scheme...


From outer space

Richard Halliburton's 1938 book Second Book of Marvels said the Great Wall is the only man-made object visible from the moon, and a Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon from the same decade makes a similar claim. This belief has persisted, assuming urban legend status, sometimes even entering school textbooks. Arthur Waldron, author of the most authoritative history of the Great Wall, has speculated that the belief might go back to the fascination with the "canals" once believed to exist on Mars. (The logic was simple: If people on Earth can see the Martians' canals, the Martians might be able to see the Great Wall.) Richard Halliburton Richard Halliburton (9 January 1900–c. ... 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Bulk silicate composition (estimated wt%) SiO2 44. ... Ripleys Believe It or Not! is a franchise which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims. ... Urban legends are a kind of modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them (see rumor). ... For a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was believed that there were canals on Mars. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ...

The Great Wall of China as seen in a false-color radar image from the Space Shuttle, taken in April 1994
Enlarge
The Great Wall of China as seen in a false-color radar image from the Space Shuttle, taken in April 1994

In fact, the Great Wall is only a few meters wide - similar in size to highways and airport runways - and is about the same color as the soil surrounding it. It cannot be seen by the unaided eye from the distance of the moon, much less from Mars. If the Great Wall were visible from the moon, it would be easy to see from near-Earth orbit, but from near-Earth orbit it is barely visible, and only under nearly perfect conditions; it is no more conspicuous than many other manmade objects. Download high resolution version (500x1501, 337 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (500x1501, 337 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This article or section should include material from false-color image A false color image showing the Chesapeake Bay and the city of Baltimore. ... NASAs Space Shuttle, officially called Space Transportation System (STS), is the United States governments current manned launch vehicle. ...


Astronaut William Pogue thought he had seen it from Skylab but discovered he was actually looking at the Grand Canal of China near Beijing. He spotted the Great Wall with binoculars, but said that "it wasn't visible to the unaided eye." US Senator Jake Garn claimed to be able to see the Great Wall with the naked eye from a space shuttle orbit in the early 1980s, but his claim has been disputed by several US astronauts. Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei said he could not see it at all. William Reid Pogue (born January 23, 1930) was an American astronaut. ... Drawing of Skylab with components labelled Skylab was the first space station the United States launched into orbit. ... The Grand Canal (Simplified Chinese: 大运河; Traditional Chinese: 大運河; Pinyin: Dà Yùnhé) of China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal (Simplified Chinese: 京杭大运河; Traditional Chinese: 京杭大運河; Pinyin: Jīng Háng Dà Yùnhé) is the largest ancient canal or artificial river in the world. ... Porro-prism binoculars with central focusing Binocular telescopes, or binoculars, (also known as field glasses) are two identical or mirror-symmetrical telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point accurately in the same direction, one to be viewed through each of the users eyes to present the viewer... Jake Garn Edwin Jacob Garn (born October 12, 1932) served as a U.S. Senator representing Utah from 1974 to 1993. ... NASAs Space Shuttle, officially called Space Transportation System (STS), is the United States governments current manned launch vehicle. ... Dr. Yáng Lìwěi (Simplified Chinese: 杨利伟; Traditional Chinese: 楊利偉) (born June 21, 1965) is an astronaut (hangtianyuan) or Taikonaut (or yuhangyuans) and the Peoples Republic of Chinas first man in space. ...


Veteran US astronaut Gene Cernan has stated: "At Earth orbit of 160 km to 320 km high, the Great Wall of China is, indeed, visible to the naked eye." Ed Lu, Expedition 7 Science Officer aboard the International Space Station, adds that, "it's less visible than a lot of other objects. And you have to know where to look." Eugene A. Cernan (born March 14, 1934) is a former United States astronaut. ... External link NASA Biography Categories: Stub | 1963 births | Astronauts | Chinese Americans | Chinese American scientists ... This is the seventh expedition to the International Space Station. ... International Space Station insignia ISS Statistics Crew: 3 As of July 21, 2006 Perigee: 352. ...


Neil Armstrong stated about the view from Apollo 11: "I do not believe that, at least with my eyes, there would be any man-made object that I could see. I have not yet found somebody who has told me they've seen the Wall of China from Earth orbit. ... I've asked various people, particularly Shuttle guys, that have been many orbits around China in the daytime, and the ones I've talked to didn't see it." [2] Neil Alden Armstrong (born August 5, 1930) is a former American astronaut, test pilot, and Naval Aviator, and was the first human to set foot on the Moon. ... Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. ...


Leroy Chiao, a Chinese-American astronaut, took a photograph from the International Space Station that shows the wall. It was so indistinct that the photographer was not certain he had actually captured it. Based on the photograph, the state-run China Daily newspaper concluded that the Great Wall can be seen from space with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look [3]. This article needs cleanup. ... Chinese Americans (Chinese language: 美籍華人 or 華裔美國人) are Americans of Chinese descent. ... International Space Station insignia ISS Statistics Crew: 3 As of July 21, 2006 Perigee: 352. ... It has been suggested that China Daily Hong Kong Edition be merged into this article or section. ...


These inconsistent results suggest the visibility of the Great Wall depends greatly on the seeing conditions, and also the direction of the light (oblique lighting widens the shadow). Features on the moon that are dramatically visible at times can be undetectable at other times due to changes in lighting direction; the same would be true of the Great Wall.

Based on the optics of resolving power (distance. versus the width of the iris: a few millimetres for the human eye, metres for large telescopes) an object of reasonable contrast to its surroundings some four thousand miles in diameter (such as the Australian land mass) would be visible to the unaided eye from the moon. But the Great Wall is of course not a disc but more like a thread, and a thread a foot long would not be visible from a hundred yards away, even though a human head is. Download high resolution version (1784x1176, 1352 KB) Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1784x1176, 1352 KB) Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


See also

The Defense of the Great Wall (Traditional Chinese: 長城抗戰; Simplified Chinese: 长城抗战; pinyin: Chángchéng Kàngzhàn) (January 1 - May 31, 1933) was a battle between the armies of Republic of China and Empire of Japan, before official hostilities of the Sino-Japanese War commenced in 1937. ... 1912 song by Harry Lee Wilber who was involved in the hoax The Great Wall of China hoax was a faked story published in U.S. newspapers on June 25, 1899, about bids by American businesses to demolish the Great Wall of China and construct a road in its place. ... ... tubgirl. ... Badaling (s. ... Jumenbu (TC: 拒門堡; SC: 拒门堡, Pinyin: jùménbǔ), is a fortress of the Ming Great Wall Shanxi Section, located in Datong city in Shanxi province, China. ... Separation barriers (separation walls, security fences) are constructed to prevent the movement of people across a certain line or border or to separate two populations. ... The Peoples Republic of China has set up a system of Internet censorship in Mainland China. ...

Further reading

  • Roland Michaud (Photographer), Sabrina Michaud (Photographer), Michel Jan, The Great Wall of China (2001) ISBN 0-7892-0736-2
  • Arthur Waldron, The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1990.
  • H.J.P Arnold, The Great Wall: is it or isn't it? Astronomy Now, 1995

References

    External links

    Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

    Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

    Notes

    ¹ 10,000 li = 5,760 km (3,580 miles). In Chinese, 10,000 figuratively means "infinite", and the number should not be interpreted for its actual value, but rather as meaning the "infinitely long wall". Figurative art describes artworks - particularly paintings - which are clearly derived from real object sources, but are not necessarily representational. ...


    Gallery


    This page contains Chinese text.
    Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

    Image File history File links Zhongwen. ... Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ...


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