The Precise Length of the Great Wall Announced by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage announced that the precise length of the Great Wall is 21,196.18 kilometers (13,170.7 miles) on June 5, 2012, which is more than twice as long as the previous estimate: 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500.3 miles) given in a 2009 study. Check out our special report on the Great Wall.
The investigation for ascertaining the precise length of the Great Wall lasted four and a half years, and more than 2,000 technicians worked on the comprehensive survey using state-of-the-art technology, in 15 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi Province, and Inner Mongolia.
Historical sites: During this investigation, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage also defined 43,721 historical sites related to the Great Wall, including walls, entrenchments, barriers and fortresses.
Various eras of construction: The entire Great Wall length stated above includes defensive systems built in the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 BC), the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 557), the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), and the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644).
Great Wall Protection
Following the investigation, China will introduce laws and regulations to effectively protect the Great Wall, and will invest more than 500 million yuan in protection measures.
At present, the best-protected sections of the Great Wall are Shanhai Pass, Juyong Pass, Badaling, Mutianyu and Yumen Pass. You can go hiking at your favorite section of the Great Wall. Check out our customizable Great Wall tours.
Various locations of defense: Many of these defenses are not actually part of the Great Wall of China per se, but belong to other inter-state defenses. So the precise length stated is really the total length of all Great-Wall-like structures in northern China.