The Great Wall of China did not only played an essential part in the movie but was a significant part of China’s history and existence. Perhaps, it is the most recognizable symbol of China and its long history.
The Great Wall mainly built as a means of protection of individual Chinese Kingdoms from the intrusions and raids from barbarian nomads. Emperor Qin Shi Huang initially conceived the Great Wall in the third century B.C. The well-known and most-preserved section of the Great Wall was built during the Ming dynasty in the 14th through 17th centuries A.D. (1368–1644). Although the Great Wall never effectively prevented invaders from entering China, it came to function as a powerful symbol of Chinese civilization’s enduring strength. (click here for more details)
The Great Wall consists of numerous walls that are mostly parallel to each other. It has a total of more than 13,000 miles in length, built over some two millennia across northern China and southern Mongolia. (click here for more details)
During the so-called Warring States Period, China was divided into several individual kingdoms until the Qin Dynasty around 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor who had united China. Shihuangdi (Qin Shihuang) ordered the removal of the earlier fortifications between states and several existing walls along the northern border. Some existing defensive walls were connected to have a single system that would extend for more than 10,000 li and protect China against attacks from the north. (click here for more details)
After the death of Qin Shi Huang, was the fall of the Qin Dynasty. Also, much of the Wall was destroyed and fell into disrepair. When the Han Dynasty fall, many frontier tribes seized control in northern China. And the most powerful, Wei Dynasty repaired and extended the Wall as a defense from the attacks of the other tribes.
Some many changes and repairs took place, such as during the Bei Qi Kingdom (550-577), more than 900 miles of the Wall were repaired and built. Although short-lived, Sui Dynasty (581-618) effectively extended the Wall several times.
The Great Wall lost its fortification on the fall of Sui and Tang’s rise since China had defeated the Tujue tribe and expended past the original frontier protected by the Wall. During the rise of the Song Dynasty, the Chinese were forced to withdraw from the Liao and Jin peoples to the north, who took over many areas on both sides of the Great Wall. During the rise of the powerful Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty (1206-1368), Genghis Khan eventually controlled entire China as well as parts of Asia and sections of Europe.
For the Mongols, the Wall had a little importance as a military fortification, as soldiers manned the Wall to protect merchants and caravans traveling along the lucrative Silk Road routes of trade established that time.
Significance of the Wall
The Great Wall had become the famous emblem of China for the Western world. It stood as a symbol of both Chinese physical strength and psychological representation of the barrier maintained by the Chinese state to repel foreign influences and exert control over its citizens, especially between the 18th and 20th centuries.
Over the years, changes after changes were made on the Wall as many dynasties took over and succeeded the other. Roadways have been cut through the Wall at various points. Many sections have deteriorated after they had neglected for centuries. Badaling is the most known part of the Great Wall of China is located 43 miles (70 km) northwest of Beijing, was rebuilt in the late 1950s and became an attraction to thousands of national and foreign tourists every day.
Today, the Great Wall is one of the most impressive architectural feats in human history. In 1987, UNESCO selected the Great Wall, a World Heritage site, and a popular claim that emerged in the 20th century holds that it is the only manmade structure visible from space. (click here for more details)