Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

22 - QUESTION:  What is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, and is one of the largest building-construction projects ever undertaken (over 5,000 kilometers long)?

Answer:  The "Great Wall of China."

Due to its rich history and panoramic views, the "Great Wall Of China" is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Construction of the Great Wall of China began in the 3rd century BCE and continued for almost 2000 years.

It is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built to delineate political boundaries and to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups. After construction of the Great Wall began, sections were rebuilt, maintained, and added until the 16th century. The Great Wall actually consists of numerous walls (many of them parallel to each other) built over some two millennia across northern China and southern Mongolia. Although additional sections were constructed, they are referred to collectively as the "Great Wall of China." The most extensive and best-preserved version of the wall dates from the Ming dynasty (13681644) and runs for some 5,500 miles (8,850 km) east to west from Mount Hu near Dandong, southeastern Liaoning province, to Jiayu Pass west of Jiuquan, northwestern Gansu province. About one-fourth of its length consists solely of natural barriers such as rivers and mountain ridges.

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