How long did it take to build the Great Wall of China? The Great Wall of China was built over more than two thousand years. Construction on the first section began between the 7th and 6th century BC, and the last work on the wall was done between the 14th and 17th centuries. After subjugating and uniting China from seven Warring States, the emperor connected and extended four old fortification walls along the north of China that originated about 700 B.C. (over 2500 years ago). The Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall but is a collection of short walls that often follow the crest of hills on the southern edge of the Mongolian plain. Overall, the wall extends about 1500 miles (2400 kilometers). A first set of walls, designed to keep Mongol nomads out of China, were built of earth and stones in wood frames during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). Some additions and modifications were made to these simple walls over the next millennium but the major construction of the “modern” walls began in the Ming Dynasty (1388- 1644 CE).
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty. Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor. The main Great Wall line stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi).
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Badaling (simplified Chinese: 八达岭; traditional Chinese: 八達嶺; pinyin: Bādálǐng) is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northwest of urban Beijing city in Yanqing County, which is within the Beijing municipality. The portion of the wall running through the site was built in 1504 during the Ming Dynasty, along with a military outpost reflecting the location’s strategic importance. The highest point of Badaling is Beibalou (北八樓), approximately 1,015 metres (3,330 ft) above sea level. The portion of the wall at Badaling has undergone restoration, and in 1957 it was the first section of the wall to open to tourists. Now visited annually by millions, the immediate area has seen significant development, including hotels, restaurants, and a cable car. The recently completed Badaling Expressway connects Badaling with central Beijing. Line S2, Beijing Suburban Railway, served people who wanted to go to the Great Wall from Beijing North Railway Station. People can buy tickets at Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Station. A bus also runs frequently from Deshengmen to Badaling. It was here that President Richard Nixon and his wife, accompanied by Vice Premier Li Xiannian, visited on February 24, 1972, during his historic journey to China.
Juyongguan or Juyong Pass (simplified Chinese: 居庸关; traditional Chinese: 居庸關; pinyin: Jūyōng Guān) is a mountain pass located in the Changping District of Beijing Municipality, over 50 kilometers (31 mi) from central Beijing. The Great Wall of China passes through, and the Cloud Platform was built here in the year 1342. Badaling and the expressway were the site of the finishing circuit of the Urban Road Cycling Course in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Laps of the circuit passed through gates in the wall.
Mutianyu (Chinese: 慕田峪; pinyin: Mùtiányù) is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70 km northeast of central Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is connected with Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi in the east. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.
Simatai (simplified Chinese: 司马台; traditional Chinese: 司馬臺; pinyin: Sīmǎtái), a section of the Great Wall of China located in the north of Miyun County, 120 km northeast of Beijing, holds the access to Gubeikou, a strategic pass in the eastern part of the Great Wall. It was closed in June 2010.
Gubeikou (Chinese: 古北口; pinyin: Gǔběikǒu; literally: “old north mouth”) is a town of Miyun County in northeastern Beijing, bordering with Luanping County, Hebei to the north and the Beijing towns of Gaoling (高岭镇) to the west, Xinchengzi (新城子镇) to the east and Taishitun (太师屯镇). The area is one of the important passes of the Great Wall of China, serving as an ancient chokepoint for travelers between the Northeast and Beijing. As of 2011, it had 4 residential communities (社区) and 9 villages under its administration.
Jinshanling (simplified Chinese: 金山岭; traditional Chinese: 金山嶺; pinyin: Jīnshānlǐng), a section of the Great Wall of China located in the mountainous area in Luanping County, 125 km northeast of Beijing. This section of the wall is connected with the Simatai section to the east. Some distance to the west lies the Mutianyu section. Jinshanling section of the wall was built from 1570 CE during the Ming Dynasty.
Huanghuacheng (Chinese: 黄花城; Pinyin: Huánghuāchéng) is a village in Jiuduhe, Huairou District, Beijing, the north of China bordering onto the Great wall of China. The town is famous for having several lakes in close proximity to the wall. Since 2010 October 30, there have been a few reports, in Huanghuacheng.
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