1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China 1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China 1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China
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1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China
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1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China
1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China


1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China - The Great Wall depicts beautiful curves of mountains ridges meandering along high mountains and deep valleys with its hundreds of passes and fortified castles. It is really magnificent. However, mountains, ravines, grasslands and deserts along the course charted out for the wall made construction a challenging task.

The government spared no money or manpower to build or rebuild the Great Wall, using the insurmountable barriers, deep moats and fortified castles of the wall to defend itself. The Ming period saw the creation of a sophisticated defense system along the wall embracing garrison towns, garrison posts, passes, blockhouses, additional wall structures, watchtowers and beacon towers, each given a different status and designed mission.

The Labor Force
The labor force used by various dynasties for the construction of the walls was no less impressive. The well-organized defenses of the Great Wall were built by the arduous work of millions of workers. In addition to the frontier soldiers, the builders included conscripted laborers and convicts in exile. For example, when the Great Wall was first brought together under the direction of General Meng Tian over a period of 10 years during the Qin dynasty, 300,000 troops were used. Later, a 450-kilometre section of the wall was built from Nankou, Beijing, to Datong, Shanxi, in 555 A.D. under the Northern Qi dynasty, for which 1.8 million people were forced to join the ranks of the laborers.

Varied Terrain and Peculiar Structure
Indigenous material was used for building almost all the sections of the wall. Earth, rocks and logs were used in the earlier periods. On a mountain the builders would quarry the rocks locally. On a plain they would gather earth and mix it with lime and mud before compressing the material between wooden boards. Most of the sections built in the Ming period were composed of bricks fired in nearby kilns.


1Up Travel - The Great Wall of China

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