It would be impossible if we say you haven’t heard about the Great Wall of China. It is something that is popular worldwide. Even a small kid would be aware of it. It is basically a series of fortifications and walls that were built during ancient times. Located in the northern part of China, it was built way back 500 years ago. And when we talk about the length of the wall it varies from 1500 to 5000 miles.
But do you know there are many facts you would not be knowing about this natural wonder of the world like why was it built in the first place, or can you watch it from outer space, etc? So now we are going to list some not-so-known facts about the place that are going to amaze you and blow out your mind.
Chinese don’t call it ‘the Great Wall’
In earlier times, every Chinese city used to had its own wall and they still do the same. And the term they use for it has its origin way back before the great wall was actually built. The term they use for it is called ‘Cheng’. And when we talk about the wall, it is not a normal city wall, it is much more than that. So what the locals have done is that they have added an adjective in front of it which means “long” not “great”. It is basically called chang cheng that means Long City or Long Wall.
It is not as old as you think
Most of the people think that the wall is around 2000 years old but actually it is not. The maximum to maximum age would be around 500 years. It was definitely not built around the time when China was unified which is around 221 BC. If it would be, then I am afraid it would not have existed until now. The idea of building the wall was derived from a structure that was assembled by the Ming.
One-third of the Wall no longer exists
The wall is not something that has remained the same throughout the whole period. In fact, it is evolving and changing, with some of its parts disappearing with time. You may find some parts that are very well maintained like Badaling that proudly stands tall to date. And when we talk about its other sites, they are quite in danger due to its exposure to human activities and physical weathering. Nearly one-third of the wall has already disappeared. The bricks and stones that have survived are mainly from the Ming Dynasty while the early walls made basically from rammed earth have already disappeared. They lie in Northwest China comprising of Ningxia, Mongolia, and Gansu.
It is not much wide
Most of the parts of this Ming wall are only of the width enough for a single person to walk. But you find some sections of the wall especially around Beijing that were built both as a road and wall. You would find no walkaways towards the west. So the soldiers and horses had to march along the base of the wall.
It is made of a special binding agent
What can you think of when we talk about the building materials of the wall? Rammed earth, stones, bricks. Yeah, they are the constituents of a normal building but the thing we are going to mention here will amaze you. The mixture that was used to build the wall is totally different from the modern mixture of cement and sand. The mortar, in fact, included a glutinous rice flour in it. It acted as a binding agent to make the wall stand strong until today.