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    The Great Wall of China

    China's grand landmark appears absolutely impressive in all its size and glory. The Great Wall of China zigzags in a helter-skelter fashion over the mountains, meadows and forests in the north of the vast Chinese mainland.Made of brick, stone and wood, the wall stretches over 13,000 miles in chunks, steadily crawling across the beautiful and diverse landscape of North China. Although most of the wall is now in ruins or in very poor condition, it is still considered one of the most remarkable works of architecture of the modern civilisation. Sadly, an estimated million builders fell victim to the construction of the Great Wall of China.

    The wall itself is not only one, continuous object. It is rather a series of bastions built for protection with great care by various dynasties and feudal clans over a span of centuries. In these old times nomadic groups from the Steppes with frequent raids and attacks posed a serious threat to the local population. Watch towers, barracks and signalling devices are a remaining affirmation of the wall's defensive purpose.

    Another purpose the wall obtained over time was that of a border control post for the goods transsported along the Silk Road. It helped protect and develop the famous trading route along which not only silk, gold and precious stones were carried, but which also served as a path for spreading art, religion and culture and, as such, successfully tied the eastern tradition with the western modernity of the time.

    The Great Wall of China is frequently identified with a dragon, the symbol of vitality and divinity. Today the wall stands for China's national pride and unity, and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

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