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How Old is the Great Wall of China?

The Great Wall is a man-made architectural wonder with the largest scale and the longest construction process in the world. Almost every dynasty in China has joined the building of the walls since Qin Dynasty (214 BC - 204 BC). The 3 representative ones in the history are ,the Qin Great Wall (over 2,200 years), the Han Great Wall (over 2,000 years) and the Ming Great Wall (over 400 years). Among them, the Ming Great Wall is the most commonly visited site for tourist due to its well-preserved and magnificent architectural style.

Timeline of the Great Wall

Pre-Qin Great Wall (7 Cen. BC – 3 Cen. BC)

In the early beginning, the Duke of Chu ordered to build the first city wall, "Chufang City Wall" (楚方城), in order to defend themselves from attack from other neighboring states. Later, the other states began to strengthen their own walls. The primitive walls at that time have a history over 2500 years.

Qin Great Wall (214 BC – 204 BC)

After State Qin had come to unify all the states, the first empire of China came into form. As Qin's conquering process, the great wall of each state was progressively connected. In 221 BC, the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang unified China. In order to maintain and consolidate the security of the Great Empire,he began to order the construction and restoration of the Great Wall, which is the first literally "Great" wall, stretching far for over 14,000 kilometers. Qin's Great Wall can be traced back to 2200 years ago.

Han Great Wall (201 BC – 8 AD)

In Han Dynasty, to extend the empire and protect the silk road to the west, the Emperor Wudi began to build the Great Wall in the northwest of China. Another 5,000 kilometers' walls were built, and the Han Great Wall is over 2,000 years.

Sui/Song/Yuan Great Wall (581 AD – 1279 AD)

In other coming dynasties (Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty), to defend themselves from the nomadic tribes of the north and northwest regions, the construction of the Great Wall never stopped. However, the whole length of the wall built at that time is not that large-scale as the walls in Han and Qin Dynasty.

Ming Great Wall(1368 AD – 1644 AD)

During the ruling period of the Ming Dynasty, the construction of the Great Wall hardly stopped in over 200 years. The most common scenic site of the Great Wall belongs to the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. Almost all the Great Wall Attractions in Beijing are Ming Great Wall, enduring for over 400 years.

Thereafter & The Great Wall Today

Only small sections of the Great Wall were constructed in the Qing Dynasty and it is the last feudal dynasty in China. Later, the Great Wall construction stopped and some sections of the Ming Great Wall have been restored for tourism in the 1980s.

How Old Is the Great Wall of China The Qin Great Wall Relics at Guyang County, Inner Mongolia (2500 Years ago)
How Old Is the Great Wall of China The Han Great Wall Relics at Dunhuang, Gansu Province (2200 Years ago)
How Old Is the Great Wall of China The Ming Great Wall Relics at Huairou, Beijing (400 Years ago)

How to Plan a Great Wall Hiking Tour

There are many stunning Great Walls in Beijing offering you the marvellous views, including Mutianyu Great Wall, Jiankou Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall and Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Exploring the representative Jinshanling Great Wall and the only lakeside Huanghuacheng Great Wall, trekking on steep mountain ridge of Jiankou Great and the near section of the better preserved Mutianyu Great Wall, admiring the famous and renovated Badaling Great Wall, you can encounter different sparking sides of each section and commemorate the man-made wonder of the ancient Chinese people. China Discovery offers you tailor-made tour service, and you can fully experience all the famous great walls in 2 days. If you have more time, it's also recommended to explore other attractions in Beijing, such as the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, and More!

Top-Recommended Great Wall Hiking Tour

>> 2 Days Mutianyu and Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking

>> 2 Days Jinshanling and Simatai Great Wall Wild Hiking

>> 4 Days Classic Beijing Tour with Great Wall Hiking

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