The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure…known to man. It’s one of the great Wonders of the World (not top-seven Wonders, but it’s still pretty high up there). As everyone knows, it was built by a bunch of pansies who were scared of Genghis Khan and his hoard. But did you know that it has a pretty badass history? Like when people would die building it, nobody was allowed to stop working, they just buried the dead person right into the wall itself. The total construction of the wall reportedly took over one million lives, which probably gives it some sort of ancient voodoo devil magic protection.
You might not be able to see it from space with your naked eye, but VK Nagrani still thinks the Great Wall of China is a Badass Place to visit and here’s why.
1. In Construction for Nearly 2000 Years
The first segment of the Great Wall was built around 221 BC, and believed to have taken 20 years to complete. The Ming Dynasty was the last major Chinese royal family to add anything to the wall, in the year 1644 AD. The Wall was in a state of construction for nearly two millennia. That wall has definitely seen some shit.
2. Kept the Nomads Out
The general idea surrounding the construction of the wall was to keep people out, clearly. But, who were they trying to keep out so bad that they needed to build the single biggest thing that had ever been created at that time and likely since?
The nomadic tribes who were north of China at that time were war-like and almost sub-human. Constantly raping and pillaging – they were scary, less-romanticized Vikings of the Asian desert. They were a scattered warring bunch that could never organize themselves well enough besides a few attacks here and there at border town civilizations. All this was going pretty great until Genghis Khan came around and pretty much fucked it all up for everybody. Genghis Khan rallied all those dudes up and sent wave after wave at the wall and taught them how to climb it – or go around it.
3. Eventually Was Worth It
The Chinese had back-and-forth control of the area just north of the wall for nearly a thousand years. They would build more segments of the wall, make it higher – but the Mongol enemy would find a weakness and exploit it for their benefit. The Mongol Army were like locusts to the areas they were able to reach. They would swarm in clusters of thousands and kill, steal, and rape. Oh man, the raping that happened. So much rape happened during this time that it’s reported 1 in 200 men (yes, all men) are related to Genghis Khan.
During the Ming Dynasty, there were advancements in wall-building technology that allowed them to bolster their walls in a way that could not be breached by the relatively stupid Mongol Army, and there has been peace in China ever since – well, from Mongols anyways.
Keep it tuned in to the VK Nagrani Blog for more of our Badass Places Series!