The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. The Great Wall of China was built mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from northern invaders.
The first sections were built in the Seventh Century BC when China was still divided into many small states. The Wall we see today was mostly built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).
It starts from Hushan in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west traversing Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai. It is 8,851.8 km (5,500 miles) long from Hushan in Liaoning and Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu.
The wall in Beijing measures over 550 km (342 miles) long. In order to create a thorough database of the wall, research included an investigation into means of construction and living conditions of both the military and workers along the Wall.
This included the research of stone pits, post houses, walls as a specific defense against cavalry, ditches, and the cultural geography including the terrain, vegetation, climate, animals and hydrological conditions.
Being the pride of China and a world cultural relic, Badaling Great Wall attracts lots of attention. Almost as a matter of protocol, most foreign leaders and heads of government visit Badaling when they visit China.
In 1957, Badaling received the first foreign honored guest President Voroshilov, the then President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
In the following fifty years, over 400 world leaders have visited Badaling, including President Nixon, President Ronald Reagan, President George Walker Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, President Yeltsin, President Putin, President Mandela and Emperor Akihito. The Great Wall is the building project with the longest duration and greatest cost in human lives, blood, sweat and tears.
The Great Wall reflects collision and exchanges between agricultural civilizations and nomadic civilizations in ancient China. It provides significant physical evidence of the far-sighted political strategic thinking and mighty military and national defense forces of central empires in ancient China, and is an outstanding example of the superb military architecture, technology and art of ancient China.
It embodies unparalleled significance as the national symbol for safeguarding the security of the country and its people. The Regulations on the Protection of the Great Wall promulgated in 2006 is the specific legal document for the conservation and management of the Great Wall.
The series of Great Wall Conservation Plans, which is being constantly extended and improved and covers various levels from master plan to provincial plans and specific plans, is an important guarantee of the comprehensive conservation and management of the Great Wall.
The Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Wall and all its attributes must be protected as a whole, so as to fulfill authentic, integral and permanent preservation of the property.
To this end, considering the characteristics of the Great Wall, including its massive scale, transprovincial distribution and complicated conditions for its protection and conservation, management procedures and regulations, conservation interventions for the original fabric and setting, and tourism management shall be more systematic, scientific, classified, and prioritized.