A symbol of ancient Chinese civilization, the Great
Wall has stood for more than 2,000 years. The wall was built in
stages from the 5th century BC up to the 16th century AD as protection
against northern nomadic tribes. Stretching from the coast of the
Bohai Bay in the east and ending at the Jiayu Pass in the west,
it snakes along the back of mountains, deserts and valleys for 6,350km
(3900 miles). It is said to be 1 of the only 2 human engineering
projects visible by astronauts from space with the naked eye.
Built of huge granite slabs and special sized bricks,
the Great Wall at Badaling 75km (47 miles) north of Beijing is most
typical of the Wall during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). There the
wall is wide enough for 5 horsemen to ride abreast or 10 men to
walk side by side.
The Juyong Pass constructed in the lush Badaling
mountains was strategically an important post as a checkpoint for
the northern entrance to the capital and is now a breathtakingly
beautiful scenic spot.
The most recently restored section of the Great
Wall is at Mutianyu, to the northwest of Beijing and attracts less