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Why was the Great Wall of China built?

When you see the Great Wall, you may have many questions about it. And you may ask why ancient Chinese people built this magnificent wall?

Well, it is related to the history of China. Generally speaking, the Great Wall is a defense construction for preventing the invasion from northern nomadic tribes. As early as the Warring States Periods (476 BC - 221 BC), the northern states began to build walls to defense against the northern nomadic tribes, and other states also built walls to guard against the intrusion from their neighbors.
The state of Chu (11th Century BC-223BC) was the first to build a wall. And then, Emperor Qin Shihuang ended the Warring States Period and unified the six states, he ordered General Meng Tian to join the existing walls. The Great Wall extended further to the west and north since then, and it is a front line defense against possible invasion. Thus the Great Wall of China was formed. In the middle period of Ming Dynasty, in order to guard against the intrusion from the north tribes like Oirats and Tartar, building and repairing the Great Wall were even more imperative.

The Great Wall reflects collision and exchanges between agricultural civilizations and nomadic civilizations in ancient China. It provides significant physical evidence of the far-sighted political strategic thinking and mighty military and national defence forces of central empires in ancient China, and is an outstanding example of the superb military architecture, technology and art of ancient China. It embodies unparalleled significance as the national symbol for safeguarding the security of the country and its people.

This deceptively complex and diachronic cultural property is an outstanding and unique example of a military architectural ensemble which served a single strategic purpose for 2000 years, but whose construction history illustrates successive advances in defence techniques and adaptation to changing political contexts.

The Great Wall has an incomparable symbolic significance in the history of China. Its purpose was to protect China from outside aggression, but also to preserve its culture from the customs of foreign barbarians. Because its construction implied suffering, it is one of the essential references in Chinese literature, being found in works like the "Soldier's Ballad" of Tch'en Lin (c. 200 A.D.) or the poems of Tu Fu (712-770) and the popular novels of the Ming period.

The Great Wall of China was declared as a “World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO, in 1987. Known as one of the 'Seven Wonders of the World', the Great Wall becomes a very attractive spot for visitors all over the world today.