Why is the Great Wall of China important?
The Largest Defense Project in Human History
Why is the Great Wall of China a wonder? The Great Wall of China is the largest defense project in human history. It is a large-scale military project built in ancient China to provide protection from northern nomadic tribes. Built between the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC) and the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD), its total length is an amazing 21,196.18 kilometers (13,170.70 miles). Today, the Great Wall mainly refers to the portion built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD).
Although the construction of the Great Wall might not have completely stopped the nomadic people, it could delay the attack. It also worked well to deliver messages so that people in the Central Plains had adequate time to dispatch troops and transport supplies needed for war.
See more: Great Wall of China - One of the 7 Wonders of the World
Great Wall’s Importance to Ancient International Trade
The Great Wall also protected traders from the invaders and promoted the import and export trade along the Silk Road. Once the westbound caravans left the Central Plains and entered the Gobi Desert, they were highly vulnerable to attacks by nomadic people. Along the northern Silk Road route, the Great Wall fortresses and beacon towers, protected caravans from nomadic attack.
The Silk Road brought Chinese goods and civilization to Central Asia, West Asia, Central Europe, and Southern Europe and brought back western goods and civilization along the Great Wall, promoting cultural, political, and economic communication and cooperation between China and other countries.
Number 1 Tourist Attraction for International Visitors
The Great Wall has become a must-see attraction for first-time visitors to China. It zigzags from Jiayuguan Pass in the west to Hushan Mountain in the east. The best sections to visit are concentrated near Beijing, including Badaling, Mutianyu, Jiankou, Simatai, Juyongguan, Jinshanling. Even the eastern most Shanhaiguan Great Wall and the western most Jiayuguan Great Wall have their own characteristics. The Great Wall is popular not only among common tourists but also among well-known celebrities from all over the world. Over 400 celebrities have visited the Great Wall, including former US Presidents Nixon, Obama, and Bush.
Symbol of Chinese Ethos - Unity, Diligence & Braveness
Since the Great Wall of China was built, it has been a symbol of the unity of the Chinese nation. Its harsh, long-lasting and large-scale construction reveals the diligence and braveness of the Chinese nation. This is why it is important to Chinese culture. The Great Wall is mentioned in the Chinese national anthem, and appears on the first and fourth sets of RMB.