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Saturday, 15 September 2012
10 Most Popular Walls in the World
I am sure you have heard about The Great Wall of China. But what are the other walls you are familiar with? I was not familiar with many walls until I compiled this list. The list contains ten of the most popular walls in the world and I am sure they will prove educative or at least add to your knowledge. These walls have been built since the ancient times for many purposes. They have served has protection, borders and to keep people in. They were even built to secure precious resources and to give respect. Enjoy the read!
10. WALL OF STON
These walls were built for defensive purposes and were more than 7 kilometers long originally. The protected the city of Ston in Dalmatia by surrounding it. Dalmatia is a part of Republic of Ragusa. It is now known as southern Croatia. These walls were also known as ‘European Wall of China’. Throughout the existence of the republic, the walls were renovated and maintained. They served to protect the salts pans which were a major contribution to Dubrovnik’s wealth. These salt pans are still mined.
9. VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL WALL
This particular wall is a national memorial in Washington. This wall is in the memory of US soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. The construction of the wall saw many controversies. The memorial is divided into three parts: the Three Soldiers Statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The last part is the most famous one. People leave many items at the memorials which are then collected by National Park Service and displayed in various museums.
8. WALLS OF TROY
Troy was once a legendary city. It is now the northwestern Turkey. This is exactly where the Trojan War happened. The site of Troy contains many ruins. Many of these ruins date back to the thirteenth century. There are portions of the Walls of Troy that are still visible and they are being maintained and preserved carefully. Many people visit Troy each year. There is even a large wooden horse on display for children to play with. It is basically a playground. I am sure you know the story with the horse.
7. HADRIAN’S WALL
It was built for defense purposes in Roman Britain. The wall began in 122 AD during the rule of Hadrian. Two fortifications were built in Great Britain and this is the first of those two. The second wall is called the Antonine Wall. The physical remains of both these walls are, well, not visible; not a lot. Although, there is a portion of the wall that still exists. It happens to be the most popular tourist attraction in all of Northern England and it also has the honor of being UNESCO World Heritage Site. It earned the honor in 1987.
6. BERLIN WALL
This particular wall was basically a barrier. It was constructed by German Democratic Republic. The construction began on the 13th August in 1961. It cut off West Berlin from East Berlin. This particular wall was referred to as the ‘Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart’. The Western part of Berlin considered the wall to be the ‘Wall of Shame’. The wall was 155 kilometers long. The wall no longer exists; at least it does not serve the purpose of separation. Much of the wall was taken down, but it still is fascinating to look at. I myself had the pleasure of seeing it recently.
5. GREAT ZIMBABWE WALLS
This is basically a series of stone ruins that are spread over a large area. There are many small ruins in the area and that’s the reason it’s called ‘Great’. It is to distinguish it from the smaller ruins. It was built by the Bantu people and the construction started in the eleventh century. The work on the walls continued for over 300 years. At that time, Zimbabwe had 18,000 inhabitants. The walls are as high as eleven meters. They must have served some sort of defensive purpose although I am not certain.
This complex is really high above the city of Cusco in Peru. This city looked like a puma. Puma is the animal that symbolized the dynasty of Inca. This particular site is located at an altitude of 3,701 meters. Today the people of Peru celebrate the Inti Raymi at the site. It is an annual festival of the winter solstice and New Year. Cusco by the way was the capital of the Inca Empire. These walled are made of polished dry-stone. Each boulder is very carefully cut to fit in perfectly. It’s amazing.
3. WALLS OF BABYLON
This happens to be one of the original wonders as mentioned by Antipater of Sidon. Another one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World included Ishtar Gate. It was constructed around 575 BC and was a part of this wall. The wall and the gate was constructed with blue glazed tiles. In the year 1983, Saddam Hussein started restoring the wall. If you think that visiting Iraq is not worth it, then you might want to visit The Pergamon Museum in Berlin. It contains a reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate.
2. WESTERN WALL
This wall is also knows as Wailing Wall or Kotel. It is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is what is left of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard. It is perhaps the most sacred site for the Jewish faith. The place has been a site for Jewish prayer. There have been many attempts to purchase the right to the wall all of whom were unsuccessful. This wall became tension between the Jews and Muslims; the reasons for which I will not get into at this point in time.
1. GREAT WALL OF CHINA
I do not think that this particular wall needs any introduction at all. The wall is made of wood, stone and brick primarily. It was built to protect the Chinese Empire. The walls were under construction as early as the seventh century. The wall built between 220 and 226 BC by Qin Shi Huang is the most famous part of the wall and not a lot of it is left. The Great Wall of China is still in an excellent shape and China spends millions to keep it in that shape. The wall is around 8,850 kilometers long and to think they built it in that time with such perfection is actually quite amazing to me.