– The Great Wall of China is one of the most remarkable ancient structures on our planet and a symbol of China.
Stretching approximately 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers) from east to west of Chin, the Great Wall is a popular tourist attraction, and of course an impressive sight.
Trouble is, the wall is disappearing. Over 30 % of China’s Great Wall has already vanished and it’s a matter of time before one of the most impressive architectural feats in history will be gone.
Construction of the Great Wall started in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC), and lasted until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Around 220 B.C., Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China ordered General Meng Tian to connect the existing walls and to extend them further as a front line defense against possible invasion. The wall was built by soldiers, common people and criminals and many died during its construction, due to the heavy work, a short time deadline and difficult conditions.
According to historians, as many as 400,000 people died during the wall’s construction and many of these workers were buried within the wall itself.
Now, about 30 per cent of China’s Great Wall has disappeared due to natural erosion and theft of bricks to build houses.
In some places, it is so dilapidated that estimates of its total length vary from 5,600 to 13,000 miles (9,000 to 21,000 kilometers), depending on whether missing sections are included. Despite its length it is not, as is sometimes claimed, visible from space. That the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object is just a space myth, and the structure is certainly not visible from the Moon.
According to the Great Wall of China Society, 1,962 kilometers of the Great Wall has melted away over the centuries. Even though some of the walls are built of bricks and stones, they cannot withstand the perennial exposure to wind and rain. Many towers are becoming increasingly shaky and may collapse in a single rainstorm in summer.
But we cannot blame everything on Mother Nature. Humans are also responsible for the destruction of the Great Wall. Many poor villagers from the neighborhood take bricks to build houses. Under Chinese regulations people who take bricks from the Great Wall can be fined up to 5,000 yuan, but there is no specific organization to enforce the rules. Tourists also steal bricks because they want souvenirs.
How long will the Great Wall of China survive? Only time can tell.
Most people have heard of the famous Great Wall of China, but not everyone knows that in India there is a magnificent ancient structure that is almost identical.