Perhaps the most recognisable symbol of China and its long and vivid history, the Great Wall of China actually consists of numerous walls and fortifications, many running parallel to each other. Originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the third century B.C. as a means of preventing incursions from barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire, the wall is one of the most extensive construction projects ever completed.
ather than being one long continuous wall, the Great Wall of China is made up of a number of different sections. These sections were built by various dynasties over a long period of time from stone and other materials.
Its main purpose was protection against attacks and invasions from the north.
The Great Wall of China stretches around 6300 kilometres (3915 miles) in length. If you measure the length of all the different sections of wall, the distance is more like 22000 kilometres (13670 miles).
The Great Wall of China is the longest structure ever built by humans.
The widest section of the wall is around 9 metres (30 ft).
The highest point of the wall is around 8 metres (26 ft)
The first parts of the wall were built over 2000 years ago.
A large number of workers have lost their lives while building the wall.
Major rebuilding of the Great Wall of China took place during the Ming Dynasty that began in the 14th century. Construction during this time was strong due to the use of stone and brick.
Earlier sections of the wall were made from stone, wood and compacted earth.
Some of the well maintained areas of the wall, such as those near Beijing, are popular tourist destinations.
While some parts of the wall have been preserved or renovated, other parts have been vandalised or destroyed to make way for construction.
Rumours that astronauts can see the Great Wall of China from the Moon with the naked eye are untrue.
Explore the site of an army of almost 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors, created and buried over 2,000 years ago to guard the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. In 1974, local peasants discovered the warriors outside the ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an. This is now regarded as one of the world's greatest archaeological discoveries.