The Great Wall

01 The Great Wall of China

No visit to Beijing would be complete without going to see the Great Wall. Construction began in the 7th century BC when various dukes constructed walls around their territories for self defence. In 221 BC after Emperor Qinshihuang unified China he had the defence walls of Qin,Yan and Zhao linked, and new sections added, so that the Great Wall stretched 5,000 km. Later Dynasties continued to build on the Great Wall to ward off invasions by the northern nomads.

02 The Great Wall

The wall that we see today was mostly built in the Ming Dynasty and reached a length of 5,660 km starting from Shanhai Pass in the east to Jiayu pass in the west.

03 The Great Wall

The wall follows the contours of the land and passes were built at places of strategic importance. Gate towers were built for guarding and lodging purposes and signal towers were set at intervals so that smoke or fire signals could be relayed to the army command in Beijing in times of war.

The famous Chinese saying goes “One who fails to reach the Great Wall would not be regarded as a hero”

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We visited the Badaling section of the wall situated north of the Juyong Pass about 60 km from Beijing. This section of the wall was built in 1505 during the Hongzhi reign of the Ming Dynasty.

04 The Great Wall

The wall here is about 7 metres high and wide enough for fine horses or ten men walking abreast. Watchtowers are set at 500 metre intervals.

It is said that :-     “The wall is so tall because it is stuffed with the bones of soldiers”

                                 “The wall is so deep because it is watered with the soldiers blood”

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On the day of my visit,visibility was poor, probably pollution, but it was very hot. I wanted to walk a section of the wall, at least to the next gate house, but it was hard going.

06 Hard going05 it's very steep

It was very steep and the steps were unevenly spaced. I was told this was to prevent the soldiers from running! The gatehouse seems like much more that 500 metres away and by the time I got there I was drenched with sweat.

But it was all worth it. Not just for the experience or the views but for the people I met along the way.

07 Time for a break081009

For some it proved just ‘too much’

11

My favourite picture of the day was of the three ladies that I call

“Three Little Maids from school”

12 Three little maids from school

About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
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4 Responses to The Great Wall

  1. Clear day for photos!

  2. crosbyman66 says:

    I thought it was quite hazy but it now passes for a clear day in Beijing

  3. crosbyman66 says:

    I’m glad that you like my images. It will soon be time for Mallorca again when I will be using the Discovery Maps to seek out the hidden gems in the Sierra Tramuntana.

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