I have been to the Great Wall of China or seen a section of the wall while traveling to China. To see it up close and personal, you can understand its marvelous structure.
The Great Wall of China is not just a wall; it’s a symbol of perseverance, human achievement, and cultural legacy. But how long is it exactly? The total length of all sections of the Great Wall of China ever built is approximately 21,196 kilometers (13,171 miles). That is a vast structure. Read on to dive into its impressive dimensions and explore why its length and existence matter.
Table of Contents
- How Many Miles Is The Great Wall Of China & Why Does This Matter?
- Why The Length Of The Great Wall Matters: 15 Essential Lessons
- 1. Human Perseverance
- 2. Cultural Legacy
- 3. Strategic Defense
- 4. Economic Significance
- 5. Engineering Marvel
- 6. Unity And Collaboration
- 7. Lesson In Sustainability
- 8. Cultural Exchange
- 9. Dedication To A Cause
- 10. Art And Aesthetics
- 11. Tourism And Economic Growth
- 12. Historical Archive
- 13. Geographical Wonder
- 14. Political Symbolism
- 15. A Reminder Of Sacrifice
- The Silk Road
- Related Questions
How Many Miles Is The Great Wall Of China & Why Does This Matter?
The Great Wall of China, a symbol of the country’s enduring strength and spirit, has been a subject of intrigue, admiration, and study for centuries. Spanning from east to west of China, the wall boasts an impressive length that’s often at the center of many discussions.
The total length of all sections of the Great Wall of China ever built is approximately 21,196 kilometers (13,171 miles). To provide some context, this is over half the circumference of Earth!
Notably, the wall constructed during the Ming dynasty, the most well-preserved and frequently visited section, is about 8,850 kilometers (5,499 miles) long. Many sections of the wall are crumbling or in disrepair.
Why The Length Of The Great Wall Matters: 15 Essential Lessons
The Great Wall of China is not just a wall but a symbol of China and the rest of the world. There are all things that we can learn from the Great Wall of China.
1. Human Perseverance
The sheer length showcases human tenacity and determination. Building such an extensive wall, primarily by hand, over rugged terrains is a testament to what humans can achieve with perseverance.
During the time the wall was built, there was no machinery. This is a wall that was built with human labor – many who died while building the wall.
2. Cultural Legacy
The Great Wall is a symbol of Chinese pride and identity. Its extensive length signifies the vastness of the Chinese civilization and its lasting impact on the world.
It shows us how deep and rich China’s history and culture is.
3. Strategic Defense
The Great Wall’s length reflects the importance of protection and defense in ancient China. The wall scale demonstrates the lengths a society would go to safeguard its citizens and territories.
4. Economic Significance
The Great Wall played an essential role in trade and commerce, acting as a control point for the Silk Road. This trade route connected the East and West, paving the way for globalized trade.
5. Engineering Marvel
The wall’s length and the varying terrains it traverses highlight ancient Chinese builders’ advanced engineering and architectural skills.
6. Unity And Collaboration
The wall’s construction would have required unprecedented levels of collaboration. Its length serves as a symbol of how unity can lead to monumental accomplishments.
7. Lesson In Sustainability
Parts of the wall have eroded or been damaged over time, reminding us of the impermanence of human-made structures and the importance of sustainable building practices.
8. Cultural Exchange
Given its role in trade and defense, the wall was a point of interaction between various cultures, promoting intercultural exchange and understanding.
9. Dedication To A Cause
The wall’s impressive length symbolizes dedication to a single cause, offering lessons in commitment and focused effort. The Ming Dynasty wanted to have the wall built at all costs, and even though many lives died building the wall, probably many more lives were saved over the centuries due to the wall’s structure.
10. Art And Aesthetics
The wall is a defense structure and an art form with carvings, designs, and watchtowers. Its length provides ample canvas for artistic expression.
11. Tourism And Economic Growth
Today, the wall attracts millions of tourists, contributing significantly to China’s economy. Its extensive reach ensures various points of interest, catering to diverse tourists.
12. Historical Archive
The wall, with its different sections built over various dynasties, is a physical record of China’s historical evolution.
13. Geographical Wonder
The vast wall covers various landscapes, from deserts to mountains, showcasing China’s geographical diversity. But more than that, the ability of the Chinese to build the wall during this time over all kinds of terrain and all kinds of weather and other conditions,
14. Political Symbolism
Throughout history, the wall has been a political tool, symbolizing strength and might to allies and potential adversaries.
15. A Reminder Of Sacrifice
The construction of the wall came at a significant human cost. Its length is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made for grand visions.
The Great Wall of China is more than just an architectural marvel; it’s a living testament to human capability, cultural richness, and the lessons history offers. Understanding its length and significance isn’t just about numbers but about appreciating the depth of its impact on the world.
The Silk Road
My Grandfather, Arthur W. Hummel, was a Chinese expert and historian. He spent most of his life as the Chief of the Orientiala of the Library of Congress. I recently found an article he wrote about the Silk Road in his personal papers..
Interestingly, he has some quotes from Marco Polo that talk about how difficult the travel and trip to China was. This gives some insight into some of the regions of China and how difficult the building of the Great Wall would have been.
You can read more about his article by clicking below:
At A Bus On A Dusty Road, we talk about everything about travel, life, sailing, and ex-pat living. We are all about “Living Life As A Global Citizen.” We explore social, cultural, and economic issues and travel.
How Much Does The Great Wall Of China Weigh?
If you calculate the approximate number of bricks and the weight of each of those, the Great Wall of China would weigh over 50,000,000 tons. The Great Wall is considered the heaviest continuous structure on the face of the earth. As so many bricks were used to build the wall, if you put all the bricks side by side, it would go around the equator about 36 times.
Where Does The Great Wall Of China End?
The Great Wall ends at what is known as the Jianyu Pass; this Jianyu Pass is the westernmost part of the Great Wall and also was known as the “First and Greatest Pass Under Heaven.” Some called it is the gates at the Jianyu Pass, the Gate of Travelers, and the Gate of Sighs.
How Long Did It Take to Build the Whole Great Wall of China?
The Great Wall of China took over 2,000 years to build. The building span over many Chinese Dynasties or for about 22 centuries. The construction of the wall ended in the Ming Dynasty in 1644. The Great Wall is one of the most significant human-made construction projects globally; the Great Wall is over 21,196 kilometers or 13,171 miles. There are over 25,000 watchtowers scattered throughout the Great Wall structure.
To know more about How Long Did It Take to Build the Whole Great Wall of China? by clicking here.