It is one of the most common questions when you're researching the wall. It's such a major landmark, after all - people assume it must be huge. A common belief is that it's so massive it's only one of the only man-made objects that can be seen from space.
Well, that's not exactly true. While the great wall of china is certainly impressive, one of the biggest projects in human history, the facts tell a slightly different story.
he height ranges from 5 to 8 meters or 16 to 26 feet high
The wall was originally built around the 5th Century BC. Chinese royals had figured out that physical barriers were a good defense against invaders. If the wall measured 20 feet, it was tall enough to stop even the most determined of invaders. It was more than three times the size of a man. Swords and spears could only do so much against a giant barrier of tightly-packed earth.
(Contrary to popular belief, the wall wasn't built with stone, except in areas where it needed extra fortification. Most of it was made with nothing more than gravel and dirt.)
Construction continued for several centuries. Every time China welcomed a new emperor, he would send more workers to repair, rebuild, or reconstruct portions of the wall. It would eventually grow over 5,000km long across three dynasties. The years passed - the wall didn't.
Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing. As civilization evolved and weapons improved, the wall became less and less useful as protection. It lost its political importance, then fell into disrepair. Large chunks were destroyed or vandalized, and some were completely eroded by the weather.
These days the Great Wall of China serves as a tourist attraction and important historical landmark. Visitors come from all around the world, to walk it's long, crumbling path - the path of ancient warriors. It's a site of history and cultural significance the likes of which we're unlikely to see again.
It is hard to believe that the Great Wall of China is only 16 to 26 feet tall, isn't it?