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Great wall of China Map | History of The Great Wall of China

   Great Wall of China, Chinese (pinyin) Wanli Changcheng or (Wade–Giles Romanization) Wan-li Chang-cheng (“21 196 km / 13170.584 mile long wall”), extensive bulwark built in ancient China, one of the largest building Is.


History of The Great Wall of China

       The Great Wall of China actually consists of several walls – many of them parallel to each other – built over almost two millennia in northern China and southern Mongolia. The most extensive and best-preserved version of the wall is from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and runs for about 5,500 miles (8,850 km) from east to west from Mount Hu near Dandong in southeastern Liaoning province, west of Jiuquan. Jiayu and as far as near northwestern Gansu province. This wall often traces the crests of hills and mountains as it forms the shape of a snake in the Chinese countryside, and about one-quarter of its length is composed entirely of natural barriers such as rivers and mountain ranges. Almost all of the remainder (about 70 percent of the total length) is the actual built wall, with the smaller remaining sections having moat or moat. Although long sections of the wall are now in ruins or have completely disappeared, it is still one of the more remarkable structures on Earth.

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       Large parts of the fortification system date from the 7th to the 4th centuries BC. In the 3rd century BC, Emperor Shihuangdi (Qin Shihuang), the first emperor of a united China (under the Qin dynasty), combined several existing defensive walls into a single system. Traditionally, the wall’s eastern terminus was considered to be Shanhai Pass (Shanhaiguan) on the coast of Bo Hai (Bay of Chihali) in eastern Hebei province, and the length of the wall—without its branches and other secondary sections—was thought to be somewhat Extended for 4,160 miles (6,700 km). However, a government-sponsored investigation that began in the 1990s uncovered sections of the wall in Liaoning, and aerial and satellite surveillance eventually proved that the wall stretched continuously across much of the province. The total length of the Ming Wall was announced in 2009.

the great wall of china
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History of the construction of the Wall of China

     The Great Wall developed from the separate frontiers, fortifications and palaces of the different Chinese states. For many centuries these states were as concerned with security from their immediate neighbors as they were about the threat of barbaric invasions or raids.

Wall Preparatory Work

     Around the 7th century BCE, the state of Chu began building a permanent defensive system to protect against invaders. Known as the “square wall”, the fort was located in the northern part of the state’s capital province. From the 6th to the 4th centuries other kingdoms followed the example of Chu. An extensive perimeter wall in the southern part of Qi State was gradually built using existing riverbanks, newly constructed bulwarks and areas of impassable mountainous terrain. The Qi Wall was mainly made of mud and stone and ended on the shores of the Yellow Sea. A wall system was built in Zhongshan State to thwart invasions from the Zhao and Qin states to the southwest. The state of Wei had two defensive lines: the Hexi (“west of the [yellow] river”) and the Henan (“south of the river”) walls. The Hexi Wall was a fortification against the ‘Qin’ kingdom and the western nomads.


Great wall of China Map | History of The Great Wall of China
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    Built during the reign of King Hui (370–335 BC), it was extended from the dike on the Luo River on the western frontier. It began near Jiangyuan Cave, east of Mount Hua in the south, and ended in Guiyang in what is now the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The Henan Wall, built to protect Daliang (the capital, now Kaifeng), was repaired and expanded in the years after King ‘Hui’. The Zheng state also built a wall system, which was rebuilt by the ‘Han’ state after conquering Zheng. The state of Zhao completed a southern wall and a northern wall; The southern wall was mainly built as a defense against the state of Wei.

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After administrative reorganization by Shang Yang (died 338 BC), the ‘Qin’ state evolved politically and militarily to become the strongest of the Seven Kingdoms, but the kingdom by the two nomadic races of the north, the Donghu and the Laufan. was attacked. Therefore, Qin erected a wall that began at Lintiao, went north along Mount Liupan, and ended at Huang He (Yellow River).

Two separate defensive lines were drawn in the Yan State—the North Wall and the South Yishui Wall—in an effort to protect the state from attacks by northern groups as well as the Qi State, such as the Donghu, Linhu, and Lufan. The Yishui Wall was extended from the banks of the Yi River as a defense line against Qi and Zhao, its two main rival states. It began in the southwest of the capital Yi City and ended in the south of Wen’an. In 290 BC the Yan state built a northern wall along the Yan Mountains, starting from the northeast in the area of ​​Zhangjiakou in Hebei, passing over the Liao River, and extending to the ancient city of Jiangping (modern Liaoyang). Was. This was the last section of the Great Wall to be built during the Zhanguo (Warring States) period.


Great wall of China Map | History of The Great Wall of China
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In 221 BC, the first Qin emperor Shihuangdi completed his annexation of Qi and thus unified China. He ordered the removal of the fortifications established between the previous kingdoms as they only acted as barriers to internal movements and administration. In addition, he sent General Meng Tian to lay siege to the northern frontier against the incursions of the nomadic Xiongnu and to connect the existing wall sections at Qin, Yan and Zhao into the so-called “10,000-li Long Wall” (equivalent to 2 li). about 0.6 miles [1 km]). This period of construction began around 214 BCE and lasted for a decade. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and assigned staff worked on the project. With the fall of the Qin dynasty after the death of Shihuangdi, however, the wall was left largely unoccupied and had become dilapidated.Han through Yuan Dynasties

During the reign of the Han Emperor Wudi (141–87 BC), the wall was fortified as part of an overall campaign against the Xiongnu. From that period the Great Wall also contributed to the exploitation of agricultural land in northern and western China and the development of the trade route that became known as the Silk Road. A 20-year project of construction was started on the Hexi Wall (commonly known as the Side Wall) between Yongdeng (now in Gansu) in the east and Lake Lop Nur (now in Xinjiang) in the west in 121 BC. . According to Xuan Hanjian (“Juan Correspondence of the Han”), strong points established along the wall included “a beacon every 5 li, a tower every 10 li, a fort every 30 li, and a castle every 100 li”. Included.

The main work on the wall during the Dong (Eastern) Han period (25–220 CE) took place during the reign of Liu Xiu (Guangwudi), who in 38 ordered repairs to the four parallel lines of the Great Wall in the south region. Hexi Wall. The Great Wall served not only for defense but also to centralize control of trade and travel.

During the Bei (Northern) Wei Dynasty (386–534/535 CE), the Great Wall was repaired and expanded to the north as a defense against attacks by the Xuan-Xuan and Khitan tribes. According to Wei Shu: Mingyundi Ji (“History of Wei: History of Emperor Mingyuan”), in 417, in the eighth year of the reign of Mingyundi (409–423), a part of the Great Wall was built south of Changchuan, from Chicheng (now in Hebei) extended for more than 620 miles (1,000 km), from Wuyuan (now in Inner Mongolia) in the west. During the reign of the Taiwudi (423–452), a lower and thinner wall of earth that surrounded the capital was built to complement the Great Wall. Starting in Guangling in the east, it spread to the eastern side of Huang He, forming a circle around Datong. In 549, the Dong Wei Empire moved its capital east to Ye, also building a section of the Great Wall in the area of ​​contemporary Shanxi Province.

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To strengthen its northern frontier and prevent invasion from the west by the Bei Zhou, the Bei Qi Empire (550–577) began several major construction projects that were almost as wide in scope as the construction projects of the Qin dynasty. In 552 a section was built on the north-western frontier, and only three years later the emperor ordered the recruitment of 1.8 million workers to repair and expand the other sections. Construction took place between the south entrance of the Zuong Pass (near modern Beijing) and Datong (in Shanxi). In 556 a new fortification was established in the east and extended to the Yellow Sea. The following year a second wall was built inside the Great Wall within modern Shanxi, starting in the vicinity of Laoing east of Pianguan, extending east from the Yanmen Pass and Pingxing Pass, and the area around Xiaguan in Shanxi. had ended in A section along the Taihang Mountains was repaired by Emperor Wuchengdi of Bei Qi in 563. It is today part of the Great Wall found in the vicinity of Longguan, Guangchang and Fuping (in Shanxi and Hebei). In 565 the inner wall, built in 557, was repaired, and a new wall was added that began in the vicinity of Xiaguan, extended east to the Xuong Pass, and then joined the outer wall. The sections that were repaired and added during the Bei Qi period totaled 900 miles (1,500 km), and from time to time towns and barracks were established to enclose the new sections. In 579, to prevent an invasion of the Bei Zhou Empire by the Tujue (a group of Eastern Turks) and the Khitans, Emperor Jing began a large-scale reconstruction program on areas of the wall located in the former Bei Qi Empire. Yanmen in the west and ends at Jeshi in the east.

 During the Sui dynasty (581–618) the Great Wall was repaired and reformed seven times in an attempt to protect the country from Tujue’s attacks. After the Tang dynasty (618–907) replaced Sui, the country became very strong militarily, defeating Tzu in the north and moving beyond the original border. Thus, the Great Wall gradually lost its importance as a fortification, and there was no need for repairs or additions. During the Song dynasty (960–1279), however, the Liao and Jin people in the north were under constant threat. The Song rulers were forced to retreat south along the lines of the Great Wall built by the Qin, Han and Northern dynasties. Many areas on both sides of the wall were later taken over by the Liao (907–1125) and Jin dynasties (1115–1234). When the Song rulers had to retreat further south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) – repair of the wall or its extension was no longer possible. Limited repairs were made once (1056) during Liao time, but only in the area between the Yazi and Hantong rivers.

In 1115, after the establishment of the Jin Dynasty, two defensive lines were worked on at Mingchang. The old wall there – formerly called the Wushu Wall, or Jinyuan Fort – ran west from a point north of Wulanhada, then wound through Mount Hailatu, turned north and then west. , eventually ending at the Nuanshui River. The second row was the New Mingchang Wall, also known as the Inner Jin Wall or Jin Trench, which was built to the south of the Old Wall. It began at a turn in the west at Huang He and ended at the Sungri (Songhua) River.

During the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty (1206–1368), the Mongols controlled all of China, as well as other parts of Asia and parts of Europe. The Great Wall was of little importance to them as a defensive structure; However, some forts and key areas were repaired and besieged to control commerce and limit the threat of rebellion from Chinese (Han) and other nationalities.

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Ming Dynasty to the present

During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), rulers continuously maintained and strengthened the Great Wall to prevent another Mongolian invasion. Much of the work took place along the old walls built by Bei Qi and Bei Wei.

Much of the Great Wall that stands today is the result of works carried out during the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor (1487–1505). Starting west of the Juong Pass, this part of the wall was divided into lines of south and north, which were named the inner and outer walls, respectively. Along the wall were several strategic “passes” (i.e., forts) and gates. Among them were the Zuong, Daoma and Xijing Passes, which were closest to the Ming capital, Beijing. Together they were called the Three Inner Passes. Further west were the Yanmen, Ningwu and Piantou Passes, known as the Three Outer Passes. Both the inner and outer passes were important for the defense of the capital and were usually under heavy siege.

The Qing (Manchu) dynasty (1644–1911/12), after replacing the Ming, changed its ruling strategy called huirou (“molification”), in which the Qing sought to pacify the leaders and peoples of Mongolia, Tibet, and others. tried. nationalities without interfering with local social, cultural or religious life. Due to the success of that strategy, little repair was done to the Great Wall; as a result, it gradually fell into ruin.

How the wall fortifications were designed

The Great Wall had three major components: the pass, the signal tower (beacon), and the walls.

1- Passes

   The passes were major bastions along the wall, usually located at prominent places such as intersections with trade routes. The ramparts of many of the passes were faced with huge bricks and stones, with clay and crushed stone as filler. The bastions were about 30 feet (10 m) high at the top and 13 to 16 feet (4 to 5 m) wide. Within each pass was a ramp for horses and a ladder for soldiers. The outer parapet was torn down, and the inner parapet, or yuqiang (nuqiang), was a low wall about 3 feet (1 m) high that prevented people and horses from falling from above. In addition to serving as an access point for merchants and other civilians, the nearby gate was used as an exit for the garrison to counter raiders or send patrols. There was usually a large double wooden door under the gate arch. Bolts and locker rings were installed in the inner panel of each door. Above each gate was a gate tower that served as a watchtower and command post. Usually it was one to three storeys (levels) high and was constructed either of wood or of bricks and wood. Built outside the gate, where an enemy was most likely to attack, a wengcheng, was a semicircular or polygonal parapet that protected the gate from direct attack.

 Extending beyond the most strategic wengcheng was an additional line of defence, the luocheng, often topped by a tower that was used to watch over those beyond the wall and to direct army movements in the battles fought there. Used to go Around the entrance to the gate, there was often a moat that was formed in the process of digging the soil to build the fortifications.


The wall itself was a major part of the defensive system. It usually stands 21.3 feet (6.5 m) wide at the base and 19 feet (5.8 m) at the top, with an average height of 23 to 26 feet (7 to 8 m) or slightly less on steep hills. Depending on the availability of building materials, the structure of the wall varies from place to place. The walls were made of wooden boards, adobe bricks, a brick and stone mixture, rocks, or tamped earth sandwiched between piles and planks. Some sections made use of the existing River Dike; Others used rough mountainous terrain such as cliffs and canyons to replace man-made structures.The Great Wall had three major components: the pass, the signal tower (beacon), and the walls.

3-Signal Towers

Signal towers were used to send military communications in times of crisis: to signal by means of beacons (fire or lanterns) at night or smoke during the day; In addition, other means such as raising banners, clapping or firing guns were also used as signals. Signal towers, often built on top of a hill for maximum visibility, were self-contained high platforms or towers. The lower levels contained rooms for soldiers, as well as stables, flocks, and storage areas.

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