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Great Wall Facts

Badaling Great Wall, Beijing
Badaling, Beijing
Chinese Name: 长城/万里长城
Chinese Pinyin: Cháng Chéng/Wàn Lǐ Cháng Chéng
English Translation: Great Wall / Great Wall of 10,000 Li
Length: 13,170.69 miles (21,196.18 kilometers)
Builder: the ancient Chinese laboring people (common people, farmers, soldiers and slaves)
Construction Period: About 2,000 years from the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC) to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Enjoying the fame of "Wan Li Chang Cheng", the main structure of today's Great Wall starts from Hushan in Liaoning in the east and ends at Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu in the west, via the nine provinces or cities in northern China, including Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Gansu. It is often compared to a huge dragon winding up and down in the mountains, grassland and deserts.

In Chinese history, over 20 states and dynasties have built the wall, and the sections built in Qin (221 BC-206 BC), Han (206BC-220) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties exceed 10,000 Li (about 3,107 miles). in 2009, China's State Administration announced that the length of the wall of Ming Dynasty is 5,500.3 miles (8,851.8 kilometers). An archaeological survey in 2012 revealed the formal total measurement of the Great Wall building in different dynasties - 13,170.69 miles (21,196.18 kilometers).

Jiayuguan Pass, Gansu
Jiayuguan, Gansu
At present, the Great Wall has already lost its military function, and many sections have been repaired and opened to the public. Among them, Badaling is the most famous which receives the most visitors from home and abroad. Mutianyu is famous for its spectacular scenery, Jinshanling and Simatai are well known for the wildness and cragginess, and Jiankou is attracted by its dangerous location. Due to these varieties, it's no wonder that Great Wall is the most welcomed scenic sight in China.
 Most visited: Badaling
 The most eastern section (Ming Dynasty): Hushan
 The most western section (Ming Dynasty): Jiayuguan
 The most western section (Han Dynasty): Yumenguan
 The most dangerous section (Ming Dynasty): Jiankou
 The earliest wall: built in Chu State in Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC)
 The section with most construction styles: Zhangjiakou Section
 The highest section:  built in 2,000m (6,562 feet) tall Huapiling and bingshanliang mountains in Zhangjiakou City
 The section with most fortresses & the section where the most frequent wars took place: Great Wall in Zhangjiakou City
Zhenbeitai, Yulin, Shaanxi
Zhenbeitai, Yulin, Shaanxi
The No.1 city terrace: Zhenbeitai in Shaanxi  
The No.1 fortress: Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu
The No.1 tower: Nine-Eye Tower in Beijing
The No.1 city gate: Dajing Gate in Zhangjiakou
The first pass under heaven: Shanhaiguan Pass in Hebei

The three inner side passes: Juyongguan, Zijingguan, and Daomaguan Passes
The three outer side passes: Yanmenguan Pass, Ningwuguan Pass, Pianguan Pass
The eight big passes: Shanhaiguan, Juyongguan, Zijingguan, Yanmenguan, Niangziguan Pass, Pianguan, Jiayuguan and Yumenguan Passes.

The first Chinese finished hiking the wall: Liu Yutian in 1984
The first foreigner to explore the whole length of the Wall: William Edgar Geil in 1908

Besides, Great Wall Marathon held annually along Huangyaguan Pass and Jinshanling is reputable, which attract more and more participants from all over the world.