Facts About the Great Wall of China You Should Know


A mighty jigsaw puzzle of fortifications spanning half the length of the equator and imbued with the unique style of nine dynasties, this manmade enigma has a wealth of historical gems to mine within and around its intricate borders. Here’s what you need to know.

Jakub Hałun, 20090529 Great Wall 8185, CC BY-SA 3.0

How and why was it built?

Reinforced with stone, wood, lime, and bricks, as well as the natural barriers of mountains and rivers, this formidable military defence of imperial eras served its purpose so well that large-scale battles were rarely fought in its vicinity! Its value is extended not just to threatening and thwarting any attacks but also to protecting the pivotal Silk Road that fuelled the international trade of the ancient world. A spine-chilling fact about the Great Wall and the secret behind its preservation for centuries is that it’s coated in arsenic, the “poison of kings”, which protects it from the effects of erosion by insects.

Getting to the Great Wall

While each section of this mind-boggling masterpiece is surrounded by unique fascinations, the most visited portions are around Beijing, beautifully constructed by the Ming dynasty. The most exciting way to reach this iconic site is via a high-speed underground train from Beijing to Badaling Great Wall Railway Station. However, for more intimate explorations, it’s recommended to hire a car along with a local guide. If you’re looking for premier Beijing serviced apartments, venture no further than the likes of Oakwood Residence Damei Beijing.

The Greatest Escapades

Regardless of what brand of wanderlust you’re drawn to, the Great Wall is dipped in diverse allures, from visiting the gorgeously restored crenellated fortresses and sweeping vistas of the Mutianyu section via cable car followed by an exhilarating tobogganing session to hiking along the wildly photogenic Jinshanling Route.

When to Visit?

Whether you’re most excited for night touring the lush heritage fortifications by lantern light, camping by the tranquil green water and chestnut orchards that grace the antique Huanghuacheng section, or holding your breath inside the history-riddled Juyongguan Fort, the best time to savour this multi-faceted monument is from May to September.


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