The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is truly one of the greatest architectural achievements in recorded history. The longest structure ever built, it is about 6,700 kilometers (4,163 miles) long and made entirely by hand. This wall is said to be visible from the moon. It crosses Northern China, from the East coast to Central China (Karls, 1). This massive wall is not only one of the ancient wonders of the world, but it also has been the inspiration of many writers and artists. With a history of more than 2,000 years, some of the sections of the Great Wall are now in ruins or even entirely disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world, because of its architectural greatness and
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The wall rises and falls with the mountain ridge, while the battle forts are located high up the hills. Then there is the Beakon Tower. From the Beakon Tower alarms were raised by means of smoke signals, at night by fire (Karls, 1). Smoke was produced by burning a mixture of wolf dung, sulfur and saltpeter (Karls, 1). Shots were fired at the same time. Thus an alarm could be relayed from over 500 kilometers within just a few hours. As we all know the Great Wall was slowly built by sections, but now today exists as one wall. This was possible because the Qin Dynasty was finally able to unite the split up sections of the walls (Forbes, 5). The emperor had extravagant plans for the empire, and he used forced labor to accomplish them. Gangs of Chinese peasants were forced to dig canals, and build roads. The one thing however, the Qin Dynasty thought to be especially important was to create a better barrier to the north (Muyaka, 6). Earlier rulers had built walls to prevent attacks by nomadic barbarians. First the Emperor ordered that those walls to be connected, and complete the entire wall as one (Forbes, 5). Over the years, some 300,000 peasants died before the work was done (Forbes, 5). Today the Great Wall of China stands as a monument to Qin's ambition, and to the peasants who carried out their emperor's wishes (Forbes, 5). In 210 B.C. Qin died, and soon after the dynasty itself came to an end.