Some persons, notably William Geil from the United States, Dong Yaohui and Liu Yutian from China, and William Lindsay from the United Kingdom, have walked the whole Great Wall of China. Most tourists, however, only walk one or a few portions of the Great Wall, and the number has risen to 20 million every year. The Wall we see today was not built all at once; instead, it is made up of segments that were built over time for different reasons. Some walls were built to protect villages from invasion, while others were built to keep out wild animals. Still other walls were used as public works projects, building sites for laborers, or military defenses.
The first section of the Great Wall was erected around 27 B.C. by Emperor Qin Shi Huang during the reign of his father, Emperor Wu. The emperor wanted to make sure no enemies invaded through northern borders so he could focus on keeping the empire safe from invaders coming through the south. The wall was constructed out of stone taken from mountains and hills near the border, and it was built using labor forces from outside the capital. The wall was designed to be completely impenetrable because any enemy that invaded would be met by an armed force behind the wall.
In 589 A.D., after the fall of the Qin dynasty, soldiers continued to defend the wall until they were replaced by local militias in 1644.
An American tourist named William Edgar Geil is the first person to have walked the whole length of the Great Wall. He and his crew spent five months traveling from the eastern end of Shanhaiguan to the western end of Jiayuguan in 1908, leaving behind a huge quantity of valuable images and documentary recordings. The government of China gave him 100 gold dollars for his effort.
The wall was built during the Qin dynasty (221 B.C. to 207 B.C.) to protect itself from attacks by tribal people on its northern border. It is made up of stone blocks stacked one on top of another with an average height of about six feet. The wall covers an area of more than 1,000 miles from the east coast to the west coast of China. It can be as short as three miles or as long as 70 miles according to various estimates.
The wall has been expanded over time through addition of new sections of stone and mud bricks. Some parts of it are well-preserved relics from the ancient times, while others are newly built sections. In fact, the latest section of the wall you see today was only completed in 2009. It's called "the New Wall" and it's made up of large stones secured with iron rods and concrete.
William Edgar Geil was born on August 11, 1866 in Hartford County, Connecticut.
The Great Wall of China was visited by 10,720,000 people in 2013, making it one of the world's most popular tourist sites. The Great Wall of China is an excellent day excursion from Beijing. "Most clients spend one day visiting the Great Wall as part of a trip to Beijing," Godwyn stated.
The wall has been described as the largest man-made monument in the world. It covers an area of 2,500 square miles (6,540 sq km), with a length of 5,000 miles (8,056 km). It extends from the north Chinese province of Liaoning to the south Chinese province of Guangdong.
Its main purpose was to protect against invasion by hostile armies; however, it also served as a major work of art and architecture. The wall was built over a period of more than 300 years by several different governments. It took about 20,000 workers between 710 AD and 1721 AD to complete.
Closing comments were made by Godwyn Jones, chief executive of VisitBritain: "Beijing is well known for its modern infrastructure and shopping centers, but few visitors know that it offers some fantastic free sights too."
"The Great Wall" is one of them", she continued.