The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This Wall of China was built by Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China during the Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty during 221 B.C - 206 B.C., over 2,000 years ago.
The wall is 6,400 km long, which is around 4000 miles. It stretches from Shanhai Pass in the east to Lop Nur in the west. It actually demarcates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The structure is one of the greatest structures built by man using a series of stone bricks, tiles, and lime from the hills. The steps that form the Great Wall of China are very abrupt and lofty in some areas. Climbing the Great Wall is not so easy. Mao Zedong said "You're not a real man if you haven't climbed the Great Wall". But over a period of time a promotional slogan 'real man stone' has been engraved on it. The Great Wall of China was built mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other enemies. The earthen fortifications of this Great Wall have many gaps where weapons, smoke signals, and house troops were being stored. Here the barracks and administrative centers are located at regular intervals. This Great Wall had the ability to communicate well to the military forces and warning the garrisons of enemy movements.
There were many Signal Towers built upon hilltops for any visibility. The Wall has many famous scenic spots and nearly 10 million tourists visit every year from all over the country. It was made UNESCO’s world Heritage Site in 1987. In the period of Warring States, many extensive fortifications were constructed by the states of Qi, Yan and Zhao to defend their own borders. They were built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears and these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames.
In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang conquered all opposing states and unified China and in order to prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he removed the wall sections that divided his empire along the former state borders. But to protect the empire against external intrusions by the Xiongnu or the Turks, he ordered to build a new wall connecting the remaining fortifications along the empire's new northern frontier. As procuring building materials was difficult, local resources like stones from mountains were used. Many of these walls were ruined during the period and Han, Sui, Northern and Jin dynasties repaired, rebuilt, and expanded the sections of the Great Wall.The picture on the card is of the Great Wall at the very picturesque location of Heituoshan Jiankou, which is Northwest of Huairou. Françoise gave this lovely card to me.