How Long is the Great Wall ?

How Long is the Great Wall ?

Many people are curious about the overall length of the Great Wall. This question is difficult to answer as many Dynasties have participated in building the Wall, and many sections are located in remote mountains, grassland or deserts which make the investigation a big problem.

On April 18 in 2009, the length of the wall of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was announced after a full investigation. It is 8,851.8 km (5,500 miles) long from Hushan in Liaoning and Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu. The wall in Beijing measures over 550 km (342 miles) long.

The Great Wall is no doubt the largest manmade cultural relics in the world. According to the new data, it passes 156 counties in ten cities or provinces including Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai The Wall of the Ming Dynasty is composed of 723 beacon towers, 7,062 lookout towers, 3,357 wall platforms and 1,026 other ruins.

In order to create a thorough database of the wall, research included an investigation into means of construction and living conditions of both the military and workers along the Wall. This included the research of stone pits, post houses, walls as a specific defense against cavalry, ditches, and the cultural geography including the terrain, vegetation, climate, animals and hydrological conditions.

The wall is becoming shorter and shorter day by day due to the natural erosion and human activity. Many parts are unrecognizable. We can do little about natural erosion but we can enhance awareness to protect the wall. People should stop taking bricks from the wall for private use, stop cutting through the wall in the name of modern construction and stop depositing litter along the wall. It is vital to love and cherish this precious cultural relic, so that generations to come may inherit and also appreciate this great ancient project.

Virtual Field Trip: The Great Wall of China

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