The Great Wall of China is a vast defense facility whose construction was begun during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang to defend the country against invasion by northern tribes, and continued right up until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Universally recognized as one of the grandest military facilities in the world, it is a superb architectural heritage, in addition to being a historically and strategically important defense facility.
Criterion (ⅰ): Completed during the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall of China is an architectural masterpiece of magnificent scale. It is said to be the only manmade structure on the Earth that can be observed from the Moon. It is a perfect architecture that blends in with its natural surroundings.
Criterion (ⅱ): During the Spring and Autumn period, the Chinese built a defensive wall along the country’s northern border, establishing their own methods of construction and spatial structures. China’s expansion became even more conspicuous due to the mass mobilization and movement of people for the construction work.
Criterion (ⅲ): The Great Wall is a living testament to the civilization of ancient China. During the Western Han Dynasty, a part of the Wall in Gansu Province was built by means of soil compaction, which is acclaimed as a unique yet universal method of construction.
Criterion (ⅳ): The Great Wall of China is a complex and encompassing cultural asset built over a long period of time. It is a military structure that has been preserved and maintained for over 2,000 years purely for its defensive purpose. It shows that the skills used in its construction continued to develop amid changes in defense tactics and the political situation.
Criterion (ⅵ):The Great Wall of China has become the most important and symbolic structure in the country’s history. The main purpose of the Wall was to fend off hostile forces and protect Chinese culture from invaders. Diverse stories about the people who were mobilized for the Wall’s construction are contained in Yinma Changcheng Kuhang (飮馬長城窟行) written by Chen Lin in about 200 AD, the poems of Du Fu (712~770), and novels written during the Ming Dynasty.
Location: Extending across Liaoning, Jilin, Hebei Provinces
Coordinates: N 40° 25′ 0.012″, E 116° 4′59.988″
Inscription year: 1987
Inscription criteria: ⅰ, ⅱ, ⅲ, ⅳ, ⅵ