Want to know who built the Great Wall of China? Find out how this massive structure came into existence overtime in our historical information guide...
The Great Wall of China is undoubtedly the most prominent symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization. Anyone exposed to this wonder of the world is bound to ask the question, who built the Great Wall of China?
More than often we find the name of Qin Shi Huang to come up when discussing the construction of the Great Wall of China. Although Qin Shi Huang deserves to be credited for initiating the construction of the Great Wall the entire development of the wonder cannot be attributed to the man alone.
The initiation of the Great Wall project
It was back in the time period that spanned from 770 BC to 470 BC that many of the state emperors started conceiving and actually executing the idea of building walls around the frontier. This was to be a defense strategy.
At every strategic location the walls would have watch towers, ramparts and beacon towers to keep an eye on the outside world. China was facing a threat from the nomadic tribes that lived towards the northern region of Xiongnu and hence the building of the walls continued all the way into the Warring State period.
Looking back at the history of the Great Wall of China we find that it was initially constructed in fragments. There was no chief architect overseeing the project hence it wasn’t one well executed project. Rather there were independent efforts going on at different locations.
Development during the Qin Dynasty
It was after the unification of China under Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC that the building of the Great Wall was formerly undertaken. This was because the new empire faced grave threats from the nomadic tribes and thereby needed to take solid steps to fortify the region.
The emperor ordered General Mentian to organize and engage a huge labor force to work on the construction of the Great Wall of China. The team of laborers worked day and night and in a matter of nine years they were able to build a loose connection between all the fragmented pieces of the wall. Much of it was restored and many new extensions were also built. The shape of the Great Wall came into existence during this time period. It ran all the way from the west to the east covering a length of five thousand km and creating a divide between Mongolia and China.
Over the course of time many emperors came and engaged their forces in restoration and extension work on the Great Wall. The most recent and large scale restoration work took place when the Ming Dynasty rulers took on the project of rebuilding the wall. Many major developments were made on the Great Wall project during these times.
The effects of weathering continue to take their toll on the Great Wall of China. As a result restoration processes continue till today in order to safeguard this national treasure of China.