Random Facts about the Great Wall of China
The dimensions of the great wall of China and of what it is built.
It runs from a point on the Gulf of Liantung, an arm of the Gulf of Pechili in Northeastern China, westerly to the Yellow River; thence makes a great bend to the south for nearly 100 miles, and then runs to the northwest for several hundred miles to the Desert of Gobi. Its length is variously estimated to be from 1,250 to 1,500 miles. For the most of this distance it runs through a mountainous country, keeping on the ridges, and winding over many of the highest peaks. In some places it is only a formidable rampart, but most of the way it is composed of lofty walls of masonry and concrete, or impacted lime and clay, from 12 to 16 feet in thickness, and from 15 to 30 or 35 feet in height. The top of this wall is paved for hundreds of miles, and crowned with crenallated battlements, and towers 30 to 40 feet high. In numerous places the wall climbs such steep declivities that its top ascends from height to height in flights of granite steps. An army could march on the top of the wall for weeks and even months, moving in some places ten men abreast.
[Footnote: The Great Wall is one of the most remarkable works of man. "It is," says Dr. Williams, "the only artificial structure which would arrest attention in a hasty survey of the globe." It has been estimated that there is more than seventy times as much material in the wall as there is in the Great Pyramid of Cheops, and that it represents more labor than 100,000 miles of ordinary railroad. It was begun in 214(?) and finished in 204(?) B.C. It is twenty-five feet wide at base, and from fifteen to thirty feet high. Towers forty feet high rise at irregular intervals. In some places it is a mere earthen rampart; in others it is faced with brick; and then again it is composed of stone throughout.]