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Visible from Space, The Great Wall of China is the largest man-made feature on the planet, however, contrary to popular legend (and according to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Jim Irwin) it is not visible from the moon. 

The Great Wall is 6700 kilometers in length, running east to west and crossing five provinces.  Appearing as a long, serpentine dragon, it winds across lands including deserts, grasslands and even mountains. Every type of material available at the time was used. From mud and reeds, to the finest mortar bricks ever made. ( still intact centuries later )

The history of the Great Wall spans more than 2000 years, and it is now considered to be one of the greatest wonders on earth.  Though there are sections of the wall that have now fallen into ruin, or that have even completely disappeared, it remains one of the most sought attractions in the entire world due to both its majesty as well as its great significance.  In 1987, UNESCO listed the Great Wall of China among the prestigious World Heritage sites. 

Though it is not known exactly when the construction of the Great Wall of China began, it is commonly believed that it was built as a military fortification to protect against tribal intrusions across the borders during the Zhou Dynasty.  In the late Spring and Autumn Period, which ran from 770 BC to 476 BC, the ducal states extended their defense works and began building great structures for prevention of attacks from neighboring states.  

In 221 BC after conquering most of its neighboring states, Ying Zheng, the ruler of the Qin State declared himself Qin Shihuangdi, the first Emperor of The Qin Dynasty. The word Qin in pronounced "chin" and is the source of the name China. Thus began the reign of the First Emperor of China, and the beginning of the Great Wall. Qin Shihuangdi began the construction of the Great Wall by connecting many of the existing border walls to protect the northern border of his kingdom from invasion. The construction continued for centuries and employed the work of millions. 

The Great Wall took approximately 10 years to complete, and ran from Linzhao - in what is now the eastern part of the Gansu Province) - east to Liaodong - which currently resides in the Jilin Province). 

The wall not only provided incredible defense in the north of the country, but was a tremendous symbol of the emperors might. 

After the Qin Dynasty, the Great Wall experienced many extensions.  Emperor Wu (Han Wu Di) of the Han Dynasty wished to maintain safety against the Xiongnu, as they had been at war with this tribe in 127 BC, 121 BC and 119 BC, so he extended the wall to the west to guard the Hexi Corridor (in what is now the Gansu Province) as well as the Xinjiang region. 

Later, many more constructions and extensions were made to the great wall within the successive Northern Wei, Northern Qi and Sui dynasties. 

Presently, the Great wall that exists in Beijing is from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).  It was built from bricks and granite and included greatly sophisticated designs and passes, holding largely strategic importance.  The Ming Wall begins in Yalujiang River (which lies in todays Heilongjiang Province) and stretches over 5000 kilometers to Guansu.

Today, the wall is considered a must-see for every visitor to China.

Click on Pictures below for Larger View


The Forbidden City The Terracotta Army
Chinese Dynasties Along the Silk Road
Peach Shaped / 7 Inch
Peach Shaped / 7 Inch
Pair of 10 Inch Closionne Vases
Pair of 10 Inch Closionne Vases
7" Cinnabar Vase
Gold Leaf Painted ~ 5 Inch Jewelry Box
Gold Leaf Painted ~ 5 Inch Jewelry Box
Tang Horse ~ 8 inches
Tang Horse ~ 8 inches

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