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How Long is the Great Wall ?

13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers)

The total length of the Great Wall of China building in different dynasties is 13,170.69 miles (21,196.18 kilometers), announced by China's State Administration of Cultural Relics in 2012. The length of the Great Wall of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was 5,500.3 miles (8,851.8 kilometers) from Hushan in Liaoning to Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu on April 18 in 2009.

China Great Wall

 How Long is the Great Wall?

Many people are curious about the overall length of the Great Wall. This question is difficult to answer as many dynasties have participated in building the Wall, and many sections are located in remote mountains, grassland or deserts which make the measurement a big problem.

Thanks to the modern measuring techniques, and after an archaeological survey taking more than five years, the total length of the world's largest man-made structure had been finally revealed in 2012, as 13,170.69 miles (21,196.18 kilometers). The surprising length is more than twice as long as the previous estimates.

The wall relics mainly distribute in 15 provinces and regions, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Qinghai. There are 43,721 relics, including the walls, trenches, towers, and fortresses.

The Ming Great Wall, measuring 5,500.3 miles (8,851.8 kilometers), is composed of 723 beacon towers, 7,062 lookout towers, 3,357 wall platforms and 1,026 other ruins. The wall in Beijing measures over 342 miles (550 kilometers).

Great Wall of China

In order to create a thorough database of the wall, research included an investigation into means of construction and living conditions of both the military and workers along the Wall. This included the research of stone pits, post houses, walls as a specific defense against cavalry, ditches, and the cultural geography including the terrain, vegetation, climate, animals and hydrological conditions.

The wall is becoming shorter and shorter day by day due to the natural erosion and human activity. Many parts are unrecognizable. We can do little about natural erosion but we can enhance awareness to protect the wall. People should stop taking bricks from the wall for private use, stop cutting through the wall in the name of modern construction and stop depositing litter along the wall. It is vital to love and cherish this precious cultural relic, so that generations to come may inherit and also appreciate this great ancient project.

 Who of the World Leaders Have Visited the Great Wall?

Of all the sections of the Great Wall, Badaling is the most famous and largest one. It receives the most visitors, with more foreign guests from more countries visiting than any other section. The wall displays the history and culture of China.

Being the pride of China and a world cultural relic, Badaling attracts lots of attention. Almost as a matter of protocol, most foreign leaders and heads of government visit Badaling when they visit China.

In 1957, Badaling received the first foreign honored guest - President Voroshilov, the then President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In the following fifty years, over 400 world leaders have visited Badaling, including President Nixon, President Ronald Reagan, President George Walker Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Mrs.Margaret Thatcher, President Yeltsin, President Putin, President Mandela and Emperor Akihito.

Over 80 world leaders have left valued pieces of calligraphy or best wishes. By far, Badaling has received about 150 million visitors at home and abroad. It is regarded as the monument in the history of China's diplomacy and the first brand of China's tourism industry.



How long is the Great Wall of China?
Who of the World Leaders Have Visited the Great Wall of China?
Who, when and why built the Great Wall of China?
Can the Great Wall Be Seen from the Space?
Which section to visit?
Which one is better, Badaling or Mutianyu?
How to Get to Great Wall from Shanghai?
How to Get there from Hong Kong?

Further Reading:
Fun Facts about Great Wall: 25 Things You didn't Know