One of the new seven wonders of the world is the Great Wall of China. It winds its way down valleys and up mountainsides while separating China from Inner Mongolia. It was originally built as a protective military structure, but now attracts millions of tourists to China every year. The facts and folklore surrounding this structure thrills and fascinates children.
Here are 5 Great Wall of China Facts for Kids
1. Facts & Figures
It is 5,500 miles in length from one end to the other. Construction started over 2,000 years ago and continued until 1644. It is made from bricks, sticks, earth, and stone. The wall has a width that ranges between 15 and 50 feet and a height ranging between 15 and 30 feet at certain points. The wall has watchtowers at strategic points where guards kept vigil and allowed the Chinese to spot enemies from afar.
2. Workers on the Wall
The vast majority of people that worked on the Great Wall of China had no option. They were mostly soldiers that were ordered to build the wall as well as prisoners sentenced to hard labor. Regular people also worked on the wall. The working conditions during construction were quite dangerous that some of the workers actually lost their lives.
3. Legends, Myths and Folklore
Chinese people refer to the Great Wall of China as “Wan-Li Qang-Qeng”, which translates to “10,000-Mile-Long Wall”. Contrary to popular belief, the Great Wall of China is not clearly visible from outer space or the Moon. Many myths exist about the events surrounding the construction of the Great Wall with the most popular one being about the story of Meng Jiangnu’s husband who worked on the wall by force and eventually died because of being overworked. It is said that Meng cried so much after losing her husband that the tears she cried made a long section of the structure to collapse.
4. The Wall’s Condition
While some sections of the Great Wall are properly maintained and in good condition, others are actually falling into disrepair. Erosion from sandstorms and structural damage due to occasional flooding have caused some sections of the wall to topple. Tourists that mistreat the wall have affected its condition too. Some of them pry off a piece of the wall to take home with them as a souvenir instead of trying to preserve it as a historical landmark.
5. Caring for the Wall
The Great Wall is a symbol of national pride for China, but the truth is that China cannot look after this landmark and mass market development alone. This is why two organizations have been formed specifically for the purpose of preserving the structure. The two organizations are the International Friends of Great Wall and the China Great Wall Society.
The Bottom Line
The Great Wall of China is an amazing and fascinating part of Chinese history and the humanity at large. The amount of devotion, manpower, and time that went into creating such an amazing structure is simply baffling. Hopefully, the 5 Great Wall of China facts for kids were worth your time and you have gained more knowledge about this incredible structure.