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Encyclopedia > Great Wall of China
The Great Wall*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Great Wall
State Party China
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii, iv, vi
Reference 438
Region Asia-Pacific
Inscription History
Inscription 1987  (11th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
† Region as classified by UNESCO.

The Great Wall of China (simplified Chinese: 长城; traditional Chinese: 長城; pinyin: Chángchéng; literally "Long wall") or (simplified Chinese: 万里长城; traditional Chinese: 萬里長城; pinyin: Wànlǐ Chángchéng; literally "The long wall of 10,000 Li (里)"[1]) is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of successive dynasties. Several walls, referred to as the Great Wall of China, were built since the 5th century BC. The most famous is the wall built between 220 BC and 200 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang; little of it remains; it was much farther north than the current wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty. 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... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 470 KB)Great Wall of China, Summer 2004. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Peoples_Republic_of_China. ... 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... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia, Australia and the Pacific (Australasia). ... 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... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Li: A Chinese unit of distance, 里 (Lǐ), a li is equal to 500 metres, or about 1/3 mile. ... For the fortification of food, see Food fortification. ... The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC. // The Parthenon of Athens seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... China is the worlds oldest continuous major civilization, with written records dating back about 3,500 years and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization. ... The following is a table of the Dynasties in Chinese history. ... 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... The eastern hemisphere in 200 BC. Antiochus IIIs forces continue their invasion of Coele Syria, defeating the Egyptian general Scopas at Panion near the source of the Jordan River, and thus gaining control of Palestine. ... For the volcano in Indonesia, see Emperor of China (volcano). ... The monarch known now as Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (November / December 260 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE), personal name Yíng Zhèng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE (officially still under the Zhou Dynasty... For other uses, see Ming. ...


The Great Wall is the world's longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km (4,000 miles)[2] from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 6,700 km (4,160 miles) in total.[3] It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. This article is about the largest buildings in the world. ... First Gate Under Heaven, under repairs in 2003. ... 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... Inner Mongolia (Mongolian: ᠥᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠣᠨᠺᠤᠯᠤᠨ ᠥᠪᠡᠷᠲᠡᠺᠡᠨ ᠵᠠᠰᠠᠬᠤ ᠣᠷᠤᠨ r Mongghul-un bertegen Jasaqu Orun; Chinese: 内蒙古自治区; Hanyu Pinyin: N... This article is about the largest buildings in the world. ... Area is the measure of how much exposed area any two dimensional object has. ... For other uses, see Mass (disambiguation). ...

Contents

History

Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty
Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty
Great Wall of the Han Dynasty
Great Wall of the Han Dynasty
Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty
Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty

The Chinese were already familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn Period, which began around the 7th century BC. During the Warring States Period from the 5th century BC to 221 BC, the states of Qi, Yan and Zhao all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and aka's, these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames. Qin Shi Huang conquered all opposing states and unified China in 221 BC, establishing the Qin Dynasty. Intending to impose centralized rule and prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he ordered the destruction of the wall sections that divided his empire along the former state borders. To protect the empire against intrusions by the Xiongnu people from the north, he ordered the building of a new wall to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire's new northern frontier. Transporting the large quantity of materials required for construction was difficult, so builders always tried to use local resources. Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains. There are no surviving historical records indicating the exact length and course of the Qin Dynasty walls. Most of the ancient walls have eroded away over the centuries, and very few sections remain today. Later, the Han, Sui, Northern and Jin dynasties all repaired, rebuilt, or expanded sections of the Great Wall at great cost to defend themselves against northern invaders. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Qin empire in 210 BC Capital Xianyang Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism Government Monarchy History  - Unification of China 221 BC  - Death of Qin Shi Huangdi 210 BC  - Surrender to Liu Bang 206 BC The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (989x649, 401 KB) Summary Map of the Great Wall of China (red). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (989x649, 401 KB) Summary Map of the Great Wall of China (red). ... For other uses, see Ming. ... A brick wall A wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. ... The Spring and Autumn Period (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) was a period in Chinese history, which roughly corresponds to the first half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (from the second half of the 8th century BC to the first half of the 5th century). ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 7th century BC started on January 1, 700 BC and ended on December 31, 601 BC. // Overview Events Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria who created the the first systematically collected library at Nineveh A 16th century depiction of the Hanging Gardens of... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC. // The Parthenon of Athens seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west. ... 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: 226 BC 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC - 221 BC - 220 BC 219 BC... State of Qi (small seal script, 220 BC) See Qi (disambiguation) for other meanings of Qi. Qi (齊; pinyin: qi2) was a relatively powerful state during the Spring and Autumn Period and Period of the Warring States. ... Yan State knife money Yan (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) was a state during the Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods in China. ... State of Zhao (small seal script, 220 BC) Zhao (pinyin: zhao4, simplified Chinese: 赵, traditional Chinese: 趙) was a Chinese state during the Warring States Period. ... The monarch known now as Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (November / December 260 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE), personal name Yíng Zhèng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE (officially still under the Zhou Dynasty... 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: 226 BC 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC - 221 BC - 220 BC 219 BC... Qin empire in 210 BC Capital Xianyang Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism Government Monarchy History  - Unification of China 221 BC  - Death of Qin Shi Huangdi 210 BC  - Surrender to Liu Bang 206 BC The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded... A Xiongnu belt buckle. ... Rammed earth walls form part of the entrance building for the Eden Project in Cornwall, England. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... Northern Song in 1111 AD Capital Kaifeng (960–1127) Linan (1127–1276) Language(s) Chinese Religion Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy Emperor  - 960-976 Emperor Taizu  - 1126–1127 Emperor Qinzong  - 1127–1162 Emperor Gaozong  - 1278–1279 Emperor Bing History  - Zhao Kuangyin taking over the throne of the Later Zhou... The Northern Dynasties (北朝 bei3 zhao1) included Northern Wei Dynasty, Eastern Wei Dynasty, Western Wei Dynasty, Northern Qi Dynasty, Northern Zhou Dynasty. ... The Jin Dynasty (金 pinyin: JÄ«n 1115-1234; Anchu in Jurchen), also known as the Jurchen dynasty, was founded by the Wanyan (完顏 Wányán) clan of the Jurchen, the ancestors of the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty some 500 years later. ...


The Great Wall concept was revived again during the Ming Dynasty following the Ming army's defeat by the Oirats in the Battle of Tumu in 1449. The Ming had failed to gain a clear upper-hand over the Mongols after successive battles, and the long-drawn conflict was taking a toll on the empire. The Ming adopted a new strategy to keep the Mongols out by constructing walls along the northern border of China. Acknowledging the Mongol control established in the Ordos Desert, the wall followed the desert's southern edge instead of incorporating the bend of the Huang He. For other uses, see Ming. ... Oirats (also spelled Oyrats or Oyirads; Mongolian: Ойрадын Ojradyn) refers to both a Western Mongol people of Europe and Asia and, historically, to a Turkic people now known as the Altays. ... The Tumu Crisis (Chinese: 土木之變; pinyin: Tŭmù zhī bìan); also called Crisis of Tumubao (土木堡之變); or Battle of Tumu (土木之役), was frontier conflict between Mongolia and the Chinese Ming Dynasty leading to the capture of Zhengtong... Events January 6 - Constantine XI is crowned Byzantine Emperor. ... Ordos Desert 1912 The Ordos Desert (Chinese: 鄂尔多斯沙漠; Pinyin: ÈěrduōsÄ« Shāmò) is a desert and steppe region lying on a plateau in the south of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... For other Yellow Rivers, see Yellow River (disambiguation). ...

Photograph of the Great Wall in 1907

Unlike the earlier Qin fortifications, the Ming construction was stronger and more elaborate due to the use of bricks and stone instead of rammed earth. As Mongol raids continued periodically over the years, the Ming devoted considerable resources to repair and reinforce the walls. Sections near the Ming capital of Beijing were especially strong. 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. ... For other uses, see Brick (disambiguation). ... Peking redirects here. ...


Towards the end of the Shun Dynasty, the Great Wall helped defend the empire against the Manchu invasions that began around 1600. Under the military command of Yuan Chonghuan, the Ming army held off the Manchus at the heavily fortified Shanhaiguan pass, preventing the Manchus from entering the Liaodong Peninsula and the Chinese heartland. The Manchus were finally able to cross the Great Wall in 1644, when the gates at Shanhaiguan were opened by Wu Sangui, a Ming border general who disliked the activities of rulers of the Shun Dynasty. The Manchus quickly seized Beijing, and defeated the newly founded Shun Dynasty and remaining Ming resistance, to establish the Qing Dynasty. The Manchu people (Manchu: Manju; Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: , Mongolian: Манж) are a Tungusic people who originated in Manchuria (todays Northeastern China). ... Yuan Chonghuan (袁崇煥; style name: Yuansu 元素 and Ziru 自如; June 6, 1584 – September 22, 1630) was a famed patriot and military commander of the Ming Dynasty who battled the Manchus in Liaoning. ... First Gate Under Heaven, under repairs in 2003. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Wu Sangui (Chinese: 吳三桂; pinyin: Wú Sānguì; WG: Wu San-kuei) (1612 - October 2, 1678) was a Ming Chinese general who opened the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhai Pass to let Manchu soldiers into China proper. ... Shun Dynasty was a pseudo imperial dynasty created in the brief lapse from Ming to Qing rule in China. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Territory of Qing China in 1892 Capital Shengjing (1636-1644) Beijing (1644-1912) Language(s) Chinese Manchu Mongolian Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1636-1643 Huang Taiji  - 1908-1912 Xuantong Emperor Prime Minister  - 1911 Yikuang  - 1911-1912 Yuan Shikai History  - Establishment of the Late...


Under Qing rule, China's borders extended beyond the walls and Mongolia was annexed into the empire, so construction and repairs on the Great Wall were discontinued.


Notable areas

An area of the sections of the Great Wall at Jinshanling
An area of the sections of the Great Wall at Jinshanling

The following three sections are in Beijing municipality, which were renovated and which are regularly visited by modern tourists Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 540 pixelsFull resolution (1818 × 1228 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 540 pixelsFull resolution (1818 × 1228 pixel, file size: 2. ... Jinshanling,Great Wall of China Jinshanling Jinshanling, a section of the Great Wall of China located in the mountainous area in Ruanping county 120 km northeast of Beijing. ...

  • The "North Pass" of Juyongguan pass, known as the Badaling. When used by the Chinese to protect their land, this section of the wall has had many guards to defend China’s capital [Beijing]. Made of stone and bricks from the hills, this portion of the Great Wall is 7.8 meters (25.6 ft) high and 5 meters (16.4 ft) wide.
  • One of the most striking sections of the Ming Great Wall is where it climbs extremely steep slopes. It runs 11 kilometers (7 mi) long, ranges from 5 to 8 meters (16–26 ft) in height, and 6 meters (19.7 ft) across the bottom, narrowing up to 5 meters (16.4 ft) across the top. Wangjinglou is one of Jinshanling's 67 watchtowers, 980 meters (3,215 ft)above sea level.
  • South East of Jinshanling, is the Mutianyu Great Wall which winds along lofty, cragged mountains from the southeast to the northwest for approximately 2.25 kilometers (about 1.3 miles).It is connected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east.

Another notable section lies near the eastern extremity of the wall, where the first pass of the Great Wall was built on the Shanhaiguan (known as the “Number One Pass Under Heaven”), the first mountain the Great Wall climbs. Jia Shan is also here, as is the Jiumenkou, which is the only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge. Shanhaiguan Great Wall is called the “Museum of the Construction of the Great Wall”, because of the Meng Jiang-Nu Temple, built during the Song Dynasty. 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. ... Jinshanling,Great Wall of China Jinshanling Jinshanling, a section of the Great Wall of China located in the mountainous area in Ruanping county 120 km northeast of Beijing. ... Watchtower in Kostroma, Russia. ... Jinshanling,Great Wall of China Jinshanling Jinshanling, a section of the Great Wall of China located in the mountainous area in Ruanping county 120 km northeast of Beijing. ... Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70km northeast of Beijing. ... First Gate Under Heaven, under repairs in 2003. ... Northern Song in 1111 AD Capital Kaifeng (960–1127) Linan (1127–1276) Language(s) Chinese Religion Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy Emperor  - 960-976 Emperor Taizu  - 1126–1127 Emperor Qinzong  - 1127–1162 Emperor Gaozong  - 1278–1279 Emperor Bing History  - Zhao Kuangyin taking over the throne of the Later Zhou...


Characteristics

The Great Wall on a 1805 map
The Great Wall on a 1805 map

Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from earth, stones, and wood. Image File history File linksMetadata Great_Wall_of_China_1805. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Great_Wall_of_China_1805. ...


During the Ming Dynasty, however, bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall, as were materials such as tiles, lime, and stone. The size and weight of the bricks made them easier to work with than earth and stone, so construction quickened. Additionally, bricks could bear more weight and endure better than rammed earth. Stone can hold under its own weight better than brick, but is more difficult to use. Consequently, stones cut in rectangular shapes were used for the foundation, inner and outer brims, and gateways of the wall. Battlements line the uppermost portion of the vast majority of the wall, with defensive gaps a little over 30 cm (one foot) tall, and about 23 cm (9 inches) wide. 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. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... 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. ... It has been suggested that crenellation, crenel and merlon be merged into this article or section. ...


The steps that form the Great Wall of China are very steep and tall in some areas. Tourists often become exhausted climbing the wall and walk no more than a kilometre or two (around a mile).


Condition

The Great Wall at Mutianyu, near Beijing
The Great Wall at Mutianyu, near Beijing
A remote western section of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan Pass, Gansu. This section of the wall is seriously threatened by environmental damage and erosion.
A remote western section of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan Pass, Gansu. This section of the wall is seriously threatened by environmental damage and erosion.

While some portions north of Beijing and near tourist centers have been preserved and even reconstructed, in many locations the Wall is in disrepair. Those parts might serve as a village playground or a source of stones to rebuild houses and roads.[4] Sections of the Wall are also prone to graffiti and vandalism. Parts have been destroyed because the Wall is in the way of construction. No comprehensive survey of the wall has been carried out, so it is not possible to say how much of it survives, especially in remote areas. Intact or repaired portions of the Wall near developed tourist areas are often frequented by sellers of tourist kitsch. 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. ... Peking redirects here. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 408 pixelsFull resolution (1757 × 897 pixel, file size: 310 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 408 pixelsFull resolution (1757 × 897 pixel, file size: 310 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Jiayuguan Pass is the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China. ... Gansu (Simplified Chinese: 甘肃; Traditional Chinese: 甘肅; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kan-su, Kansu, or Kan-suh) is a province located in the northwest of the Peoples Republic of China. ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ... Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure, a symbol or anything else that goes against the will of the owner/governing body. ... Kitsch is a term of German origin that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. ...


More than 60 kilometres (37 mi) of the wall in Gansu province may disappear in the next 20 years, due to erosion from sandstorms. In places, the height of the wall has been reduced from more than five meters (16.4 ft) to less than two meters. The square lookout towers that characterize the most famous images of the wall have disappeared completely. Many western sections of the wall are constructed from mud, rather than brick and stone, and thus are more susceptible to erosion.[5] Gansu (Simplified Chinese: 甘肃; Traditional Chinese: 甘肅; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kan-su, Kansu, or Kan-suh) is a province located in the northwest of the Peoples Republic of China. ... “Sandstorm” redirects here. ... Mudbrick was used for the outer contruction of Sumerian ziggurats — some of the worlds largest and oldest constructions. ...


Watchtowers and barracks

Watchtower
Watchtower

The wall also has watch towers at regular intervals, which were used to store weapons, house troops, and send smoke signals. 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. ... A smoke signal is a form of visual communication used over a long distance, developed both in the Americas and in China. ...


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.


Visibility

Visibility from the moon

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

Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon from May 1932 explains the fact that the wall is "the mightiest work of man, the only one that would be visible to the human eye from the moon" and Richard Halliburton's 1938 book Second Book of Marvels makes a similar claim, but it is not true. This belief has persisted, assuming urban legend status, sometimes even entering school textbooks. Arthur Waldron, author of The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth, 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 Mars's canals, the Martians might be able to see the Great Wall.) 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. ... 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. ... Believe It or Not redirects here. ... Richard Halliburton Richard Halliburton (9 January 1900– presumed dead 23 March 1939) was an American explorer, athlete, and author. ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... An urban legend or urban myth is similar to a modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. ... For a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was believed that there were canals on Mars. ... Adjectives: Martian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 0. ...


The Great Wall is a maximum 30 ft (9.1m) wide and is about the same color as the soil surrounding it. 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 (average distance from earth 238,857 miles (384,393 km)). But the Great Wall is of course not a disc but more like a thread, and a thread a foot (30 cm) long would not be visible from a hundred yards (90 m) away, even though a human head is. Not surprisingly, no lunar astronaut has ever claimed to see the Great Wall from the moon. This article is about Earths moon. ...


Visibility from near earth orbit

A different question is whether it is visible from near-Earth orbit, i.e at an altitude of less than 500 km (311 mi) (0.1% of the distance of the moon). The consensus here is that it is barely visible, and only under nearly perfect conditions; it is no more conspicuous than many other manmade objects.


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. ... For other uses, see Skylab (disambiguation). ... Grand Canal of China The Grand Canal of China (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) is the longest 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, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) when viewing distant objects. ... Edwin Jacob Garn (born October 12, 1932) is an American politician, a member of the Republican Party, and 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. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yang Yáng Lìwěi (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ) (born June 21, 1965) is an astronaut of the Peoples Republic of China. ...


Veteran US astronaut Gene Cernan has stated: "At Earth orbit of 160 km (99 mi) to 320 km (199 mi) 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. ... Edward Tsang Lu (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) (born July 1, 1963) is an American physicist and astronaut, a veteran of two space shuttle missions and an extended stay aboard the International Space Station. ... This is the seventh expedition to the International Space Station. ... “ISS” redirects here. ...

Topographic maps put together showing the location of the eastern parts of the wall between the Yellow River and the Bohai Sea
Topographic maps put together showing the location of the eastern parts of the wall between the Yellow River and the Bohai Sea

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." [6] Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 227 pixelsFull resolution (10112 × 2866 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 227 pixelsFull resolution (10112 × 2866 pixel, file size: 2. ... For other Yellow Rivers, see Yellow River (disambiguation). ... A map showing the location of the Bohai Sea. ... This article is about the former American astronaut. ... The Apollo 11 mission 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 China Daily later reported that the Great Wall can be seen from space with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look.[7] Dr. Leroy Chiao, Ph. ... Chinese Americans (Chinese language: 美籍華人 or 華裔美國人) are Americans of Chinese descent. ... “ISS” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that China Daily Hong Kong Edition be merged into this article or section. ...


Gallery

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4606x3071, 2099 KB) The photographer is Hao Wei, a Chinese exchange student attending Tipperary Institute, when he was in the vicinity of the Great Wall. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 751 KB) Summary grande muraille de chine à Mutianyu great wall of chine at Mutianyu 01-01-2006 Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Great Wall of China Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 267 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 277 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 450 KB)Great Wall of China, Summer 2004. ... Download high resolution version (768x1024, 375 KB)Great Wall of China, Summer 2004. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 367 KB)Great Wall of China, Summer 2004. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 559 pixelsFull resolution (1136 × 794 pixel, file size: 161 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Please see the file description page for further information. ...

See also

Qing dynasty wall of Xian, showing elaborate wall towers Chinese city walls (Chinese: ; pinyin: chéngqiáng; literally city wall) refer to civic defensive systems used to protect towns and cities in China in pre-modern times. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Operation Nekka. ... 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. ... The Great Wall Marathon is an annual marathon race held in May along and on the Great Wall of China. ... Separation barriers (separation walls, security fences) are constructed to limit the movement of people across a certain line or border or to separate two populations. ... The Golden Shield Project (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is owned by Ministry of Public Security of the Peoples Republic of China (MPS). ...

References

  1. ^ 10,000 li = 5,760 km (3,580 miles). In Chinese, 10,000 figuratively means "infinite", and the number should not be interpreted(will you please do my home work?) for its actual value, but rather as meaning the "infinitely long wall".
  2. ^ Damian Zimmerman, ICE Case Studies: The Great Wall of China, December 1997
  3. ^ Encyclopedia Brittanica online - Great wall of China. Retrieved on 23 October, 2007.
  4. ^ Ford, Peter (2006, Nov 30). New law to keep China's Wall looking great. Christian Science Monitor, Asia Pacific section. Accessed 3/17/2007.
  5. ^ "China's Wall becoming less and less Great", Reuters, 2007-08-29. Retrieved on 2007-08-30. 
  6. ^ NASA
  7. ^ Markus, Francis. (2005, Apr 19). Great Wall visible in space photo. BBC News, Asia-Pacific section. Accessed 3/17/2007.

Figurative art describes artworks - particularly paintings - which are clearly derived from real object sources, but are not necessarily representational. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 241st day of the year (242nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 242nd day of the year (243rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

  • Arnold, H.J.P, "The Great Wall: Is It or Isn't It?" Astronomy Now, 1995.
  • Hessler, Peter. "Walking the Wall". The New Yorker, 21 May 2007, pp. 56-65.
  • Lovell, Julia. The Great Wall: China against the World. 1000 BC - 2000 AD. London: Atlantic Books; Sydney, Australia: Picador, 2006. ISBN 13-978-0330-42241-3; ISBN 10-0-330-42241-3. (Hardback)
  • Michaud, Roland (photographer); Sabrina Michaud (photographer), & Michel Jan, The Great Wall of China. Abbeville Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7892-0736-2
  • Waldron, Arthur, The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

External links

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Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Peoples_Republic_of_China. ...


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