The great Chinese legend?

This is the most magnificent building built by man – the only one that can be seen from space with the naked eye. An impregnable fortification. Symbol of antiquity and power of the Chinese civilization. Heard about it every, but. no one saw it whole!

The construction of the Millennium

Look in any encyclopedia about the great wall of China can be found only a short article. And, alas, the data in different sources will often contradict each other. Nevertheless, officially recognized is considered such a story.

The great wall of China is a chain of fortifications, extending in the North of Ancient China from the Yellow sea to the Gobi desert. The total length of the wall is more than 6500 kilometers. The wall was built over two millennia.

It all started long before our era. At the time of the ancient Chinese state, about which we know almost nothing, collapsed into many small principalities that fought each other. And the richest of them began to build fortifications, so that it was easier to defend their borders. The feud lasted for almost 300 years. But the legendary Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi put an end to it. He gathered the scattered lands into a single state, and all enemies destroyed. Still loved the Emperor Confucians. 460 preachers of this doctrine he was buried alive, and the rest were exiled to the North. But there was a lot of unhappy, prisons overflowed, and we had to decide where to put stokotelny. For a start, Qin Shi Huangdi built by the hands of convicts network of excellent roads across the country, then dug several channels. And then got the idea to combine fortifications of his vassals into a single wall to protect the Northern borders of China from the nomads.

Thus began the great Chinese building. Under different emperors and dynasties, she died and revived again. In each area the wall was built from scrap materials: in the mountains of stone, near the cities of brick, in the forests of huge logs, and in a desolate and poor provinces of baked earth. Wall thickness was about five feet, making it a beautiful road on which the troops moved. The height of the wall varied from 4 to 10 meters. Argue that the wall 25 together thousands of towers, and each of them were seen the previous two. Messages from one to another was transferred using smoke, drums, or fire. All the way from the Wall to the city there were strong points at a distance of one horse transition, where runners have rested and changed horses.

Many people call this building the “wall of bones” – the millions of inhabitants of China perished, erecting her. Even now, the phrase “to send to the wall” means to the Chinese is about the same as for us – “put to the wall”.

The last of the three active construction period was the era of the Ming dynasty in the seventeenth century. Then were created the main stone fragments. In some places were built to ten parallel walls – for greater reliability. At the same time worked on the building site to a million convicts. According to the legend, one day died, just 500,000 of builders, but its place is immediately sent new prisoners.

The image is everything? The skeptics

But the Wall did not justify investments in her efforts. In 1644, the Manchu tribes overcame and conquered China. The great construction was finished. The wall began to fall into disrepair and crumble. Stone and brick fragments were taken by the locals.

It would have disappeared a symbol of power of Ancient China, if not the Europeans, who for a century before it began to sail to China. If earlier the Great silk road, the Chinese only went to a maximum of the Arabs, and now the European seafarers plied the oceans, and the state and religious organizations have opened their representative offices in distant lands. So, in 1552-1775 years in Beijing, acted in the Jesuit mission. And here, the participants were not only the first Europeans living in China, but also the first to mention about the great wall. Before that no one — not Marco Polo, who spent in those lands than one year nor the other travellers didn’t say another word about her.

But it’s weird. It turned out that the knowledge and technical achievements of Europeans far exceed what was achieved by the Chinese. Even elementary mathematical and astronomical knowledge seemed to be residents of China are amazing.

And here amid all this, the Emperor WAN Li, 16 years old are not released beyond the Palace, and knowledgeable about the world around only by hearsay, hard thought. If the Europeans have achieved in science so much, will tomorrow look to Europe and not the celestial Empire – the center of culture and civilization? Needed a way to prove China’s superiority in something so that once and for all will make our dear guests down.

Shortly thereafter, on the orders of Ivan Lee and began the next phase of the reconstruction of the great wall. Some time later, the site near Beijing was officially demonstrated to the overseas guests. See, they say that we were building when you lived in caves!

The Europeans were shocked, especially after they were told how far the Great wall of China. It appeared on maps and in the stories of travelers. But, as it turns out, none of them managed to pass along the entire wall. It took place on such a remote mountain, muddy marshes and shifting Sands that only several parts of this structure could be seen with your own eyes. And local residents in one voice saying that built a wall to WAN Lee.

And still I find you!

As has been said, then the authorities in China seized the Manchus, and all was not Wall. Remembered her only with Mao. He declared the Wall a symbol of national pride and began large-scale reconstruction, for over three centuries there is hardly anything left. The portion of the wall, which allowed tourists, recreated in the twentieth century. Several nearly destroyed fragments are present in the photographs of travelers – but it ruins that built WAN Lee. No more ancient portion of the structure has never been seen. However, this did not prevent persistent the Chinese to achieve what the Wall was included in the list of world heritage sites. And in 2007 she became one of the new seven wonders of the world.

But as the voice of the doubting the authenticity of this monument does not subside, the Chinese authorities decided: not visible wall from the Ground, from space such a Grand structure definitely will notice. In any local school textbook says about this. Imagine the disappointment, when neither of the first Chinese cosmonaut Jan Liva nor his colleagues didn’t see the Wall! The situation tried to save European space Agency, found in one of the photos on the Wall something similar. But six months later, declared it “an unfortunate mistake, when wall took the river.” And evil tongues still say that the shot is unsuccessful falsification.

So whether it is the Great wall? Or rather, if she was like this, according to Chinese historians? Or is it just a Grand publicity stunt designed to make the world believe in the greatness of Ancient China? Be sure, alas, impossible. But if the walls were not – what they built millions of convicts for two thousand years? Or everything we know about the ancient history of China – also not true?

And yet, whether the Wall is the greatest construction project or as a Grand hoax, nothing like her on the planet anymore.

Stanislav MASLAKOV “MYSTERY of the twentieth century” №8, 2009