Great Walls Make Great Neighbors

About 70 km outside of Beijing the mountains begin to rise in dramatic fashion. Stretching along the summits and weaving from mountain to mountain is one of the most impressive monuments in the world -- The Great Wall of China.

7,800 km of Great Wall to keep the louts out.

The Great Wall was started long ago, way back during the Zhou Dynasty (1112-221 B.C.). Work continued on the wall all the way up to the Ming Dynasty, which was just over a hundred years ago. The Great Wall defends some 7,800 km of old Chinese border -- from the sands of the Gobi Desert in the west, all the way to the Yellow Sea in the east. It is the only manmade object on earth visible to the naked eye from outer space.

Your humble narrator defends the wall from insurgent Mongolians.

The Great Wall served for many centuries as an effective barrier against the war-like nomads of the northern steppes. There were a few times in history the wall was breached and invaders poured into China. The invaders wisely bribed sentries at strategic points to pass through the wall, rather than try to fight over the top.

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