“I thought about all the people who built it.” 


Photo by Ahazan, public domain

Fort at the Western Wall

Photo courtesy, Susan Stark


Photo here and below courtesy, Yuqi

THE Chinese Empire didn’t want armies to come into its kingdom and so they built the Great Wall. It is the largest man-made building on earth. The earliest sections [parts] are over 2000 years old. It was made in 3 main sections at different times. If you put the length of the 3 main parts together, the wall is about 22,000 kilometers (13,670 miles) long. But no one really knows how long it is because there are still parts of the wall being discovered.  Between 1 and 2 million people worked to build the wall and it took hundreds of years to build.

     The Great Wall is in the mountains of China. To get there, we drove by car.  We drove first from Beijing to Badaling.  Then from Badaling it took about 40 minutes to get to the wall. We only went to one part. I was very excited to see it.  

     When you start climbing, you really want to get to the highest point.  I thought I would feel like a champion when I got to the top. Near the top it’s really steep! When I made it, it was a great feeling. Most of the way you are climbing straight up. You see all the mountains connecting to each other. You feel the fresh, strong breeze. People below look like ants!  

     When I got to the top, I thought about the history of the wall and how dangerous and hard it was to build. There was nothing to keep people from falling while they were working. It is so high and steep that it’s hard to imagine how they did it. In China there is a famous saying:  “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man!”  It means that in life you must climb and take many difficult steps and only when you reach the top you will feel successful.  —Yuqi

……………..…..Yuqi is studying in America and is in the tenth grade. He is a member of his high school’s writing club.

THE video below shows one of the older parts of the wall. It helps you understand how hard it was to build and how hard it is today to repair. 

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THE following National Geographic documentary on the building of the Great Wall is more than worth the 45 minutes it takes to watch it.   

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 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com