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The Great Wall (North China)

Updated: 2012-11-14 19:54

The Great Wall, both as a cultural relic and unique natural landscape, has its special advantages. It has been widely known among domestic and foreign tourists that one is not a true man unless he climbs up the Great Wall (by Mao Zedong, originally referring to his determination to fight against Japanese invaders in the north). No one will miss the opportunity to visit it. When the former Prime Minister of the UK Mr. Heath mounted the Wall, he said, The past and future of China boast the same charm. …The Great Wall looks much more spectacular than I've seen in photos, embroideries or paintings. This just shows the eagerness of tourists to visit the Great Wall. It will stand with China and the world forever.

Body of the Wall

Take the Badaling section for example. The Wall there is on average 7.8 m high and 6.7 m wide, narrowing to 4.5 m on the top in a trapezoidal shape. It was built with slabs and bricks, with rammed earth at the core. At that time, building materials could only be conveyed by porters, simple vehicles, mules or goats. It was recorded that it took thousands of people a half year to finish a section 200 m long.

Legends and Stories

There is a legend about Meng Jiangnü, whose husband was conscripted to work on the Wall soon after they got married. When autumn came, Meng Jiangnü worried that her husband would suffer from the cold in the north, so she walked all the way to the construction site of the Great Wall, taking padded clothes which she had made for him. But when she got there, she was told that her husband had already died from exhaustion and had been buried at the foot of the Wall. Meng Jiangnü's grief was so bitter that 800 li of the Wall collapsed, revealing a pit containing piles of skeletons. She couldn't identify her husband among them, and so she threw herself into the sea together with some of them. Later, two rocks in the shape of grave tablets appeared at the spot. A temple named after Meng Jiangnü was built at the foot of the Great Wall to commemorate her loyalty to her husband.

Editor: Xu Shenglan

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