The Great Wall Sign

Travel to the great wall in China

Historical facts about the Great Wall of China



infographic great wall of china

The death Toll.

Built over about 1,600 years ending in medieval times, there were no modern safety precautions for workers. People referred to the Great Wall as “the longest cemetery on earth” during its various periods of construction. It is believed that construction of the Great Wall cost more than one million lives.

Preserving the Spirits.

So many people died during construction of the Great Wall that a tradition for removing the bodies arose. Family members going to retrieve the body of one who had died while working on the wall came to carry a white caged rooster on top of the coffin of the family member. They believed that the rooster’s incessant crowing would keep the family member’s spirit awake, thereby avoiding the risk of the spirit escaping during transport and being forever condemned to wandering the length of the Great Wall.

Serious Unified Effort.

Qin Shi Huang was the first ruler to unify China during his reign during 260-210 B.C. There were wall sections dating to the seventh century B.C. protecting seven independent states, but it was Qin of the Qin Dynasty who first initiated extensive building efforts. Other dynasties continued the efforts. The most extensive work was done during the Ming Dynasty between 1368 and 1644.

Pride in the Great Wall.

Prior to the twentieth century, the Chinese appear to have been far less impressed with the Great Wall than were European visitors. Europeans idealized the Great Wall in the late nineteenth century, but the Great Wall rarely was the object of Chinese art during that time. It did not commonly appear in Chinese art until the twentieth century.

Negative Symbolism in the Cultural Revolution. (1966-78)

Mao Tse-tung, communist founder of the People's Republic of China, viewed the Great Wall as a symbol of principles contrary to communism. The Great Wall not only received any maintenance as a historical structure.The Communist government initiated demolition of the wall with dynamite, destroying large portions of the wall. During this time, the Chinese people were encouraged to remove bricks from the wall in symbolic gestures to reclaim power.

Uncommon Bricks

The sections built of bricks are the most recently constructed sections. About 70 percent of the Great Wall consists of adobe and rammed earth, which were used well into the years of the Ming Dynasty that accomplished so much of the Great Wall’s length. Bricks were not used until after the Ming Dynasty, which ended in 1644.

The wall acting as trade Facilitator.

Several sections of the Great Wall in the western regions of China were used by travelers of the Silk Road, the extensive trade route extending from China to countries in the Mediterranean region beginning during the Han Dynasty in the second century B.C



The Chinese invented the wheelbarrow, which was used extensively in constructing the Great Wall.


Protecting the wall.

In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed the Great Wall on its list of the world’s great national and historical sites. More recently, the New7Wonders Foundation declared the wall to be selected by Internet votes as one of the wonders of the known world.