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The Great Wall of China
(Vạn Lý Trường Thành)


gw1 To the northwest and north of Beijing, a huge, serrated wall zigzags its way to the east and west along the undulating mountains. This is the Great Wall, which is said to be visible from the moon/outer space. After Tần Thủy Hoàng unified China in 221 B.C., the walls were built to prevent the invaders from the Xiongnu tribes in the north. They were extended to more than 10,000 li or 5,000 kilometers which originated the name "10,000-li Great Wall".
The Great Wall was renovated from time to time after the Qin Dynasty. A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368, and took 200 years to complete. The wall we see today is almost exactly the result of this effort. With a total length of over 6,000 kilometers, it extends to the jiayu Pass in Gansu Province in the west and to the mouth of the Yalu River in Liaoning Province in the east.

Important sections of the Wall:
gw2 Located 10 kilometers south of the Badaling section of the Great Wall and built gw3in an 18.5-kilometer-long valley, the pass has always been an important gateway northwest of Beijing. Cloud Terrace, built in 1345, was originally the base of a pagoda over looking the main road of the town of the pass. The arched gate of the terrace and the walls inside the arch are decorated with carvings. of elephants, lions, birds, flowers and heavenly kings as well as charms in six languages-Sanskrit, Tibetan, Phats pa (Mongolian), Uygur, West Xia and Han.

The Mutianyu section covers 70 kilometers northeast of Beijing. This is one of the best sections of the Great Wall, linking the Gubeikou and Badaling sections, from East to West, respectively.

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The battles in the Jinshanling division are built along the ridge of a mountain, where the soldiers can defeat the enemy by taking advantage of the high terrain.
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Located to the east of Jinshanling, the Simatai division is 3,000 metres long and has 35 battle forts. The wall rises and falls with the precipitous mountain ridge while the battle forts are located high up the hills.
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The Beacon Tower: Alarm was raised by smoke signals and by fire at night. Smoke was produced by burning a mixture of wolf dung, sulfur and saltpeter. The alarm could be relayed over 500km within just a few hours.
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