Photographer's Note

The Great Wall of China

Rugged, stony, and gray, the Great Wall of China rises from the ocean surf at Shanhaiguan. It twists across a narrow plain, contours itself at a massive gate, and then curves to ascend the peaks of the Yan Shan mountain range. Originally build in small sections by individual feudal states, the Wall was later linked together by General Meng Tian on the orders of Chinaís first great emperor, Qui Shi Huangdi, at the end of the 3rd century B.C. when he unified all of China.

Since then, the Wall has been rebuilt and renovated many times. During the Ming Dynasty, the Wall was made of earth and rubble, faced with stone, and partly covered with brick, a material which had not been used under previous dynasties. From the time when the original existing state walls were joined at the command of the emperor to its elaborate reconstruction by the Ming Dynasty 1,600 years later to the present, it has been regarded as one of manís grandest achievements.

A recent comprehensive archaeological survey concluded that the entire Great Wall, including all of its branches, stretches 5,500 miles (8,851 km). This is made up of 3,889 miles (6,259 km) of sections of actual wall, 223 miles (359 km) of trenches and 1,387 miles (2,232 km) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.

Badaling, about 50 miles from Beijing, is the most accessible, and is also the best place to see the wall in its most typical aspect, snaking across the mountain ranges.

The Great Wall of China is considered as one of the true wonders of the world.

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a slide scanner. This picture of the Great Wall of China is a scanned image I took in the summer of 1990.

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Additional Photos by Betty Jones (BWJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 473 W: 0 N: 919] (3094)
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