Of the many monuments attesting to the glory of
The Great Wall is not actually one wall, nor does it constitute entirely of walls. It is a fortification that also comprises trenches and natural defenses of hills and rivers. Many walls have been built and torn down since Emperor Qin first conquered the warring states and began to connect their existing fortifications to protect the whole of his newly unified kingdom. Originally built from rammed earth, most of the standing structure of tiles and stone brick seen today was built during the Ming Dynasty. Thousands of soldiers and commoners who were recruited as labour died in the construction of the wall; their entombed remains have been discovered within sections of the walls by archeologists. Stories of its builders have passed into myth and folktale of Chinese culture, integrating The Wall forever in the nation’s spiritual consciousness.
The scenery along the wall is incredibly diverse, but one cannot help but wonder at the travails of the builders who had to carry stone and lumber up the steep hills and hazardous terrains. However, their efforts were not in vain, as the wall was never breached until the Shun dynasty, when the gates were opened to the Manchu army by a betrayer.
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