Gran Muralla China

La muralla tiene sus orígenes en secciones que se construyeron en determinadas zonas estratégicas durante el periodo de los Reinos Combatientes (480-221 adC). Más tarde, durante el reinado del Primer Emperador de la dinastía Ch'in, de corta duración, se unificaron estas secciones para formar una sola muralla. Así, no se construyó toda de una vez, sino más bien por partes que se han ido uniendo a través de un período de aproximadamente mil años. Alcanzó su mayor extensión bajo la dinastía Ming. El 07 de Julio de 2007 fue nombrada como una de las siete nuevas maravillas del mundo moderno.

 


 

Estado

Las partes de la muralla más visitadas por los turistas se han mantenido en buen estado o han sido reparadas, pero en muchas partes la muralla ha sido descuidada, sirviendo como zona de juego para los habitantes o como fuente de piedras para la reconstrucción de casas y calles. Algunas secciones de la muralla también están cubiertas de graffiti. Otras partes han sido voluntariamente destruidas por impedir el paso a nuevas vías de comunicación. De hecho, se calcula que aproximadamente un treinta por ciento de la muralla construida durante la Dinastía Ming se mantiene en pie.

Torres de vigilancia y cuarteles

Torre de vigilancia cerca de Pekín
Torre de vigilancia cerca de Pekín

La muralla se interrumpe en algunos puntos para dar lugar a puntos de defensa, a los cuales los soldados podían retroceder de ser necesario. Cada torre tiene escaleras únicas y de acceso difícil de manera que confunda al enemigo. Los cuarteles y los centros administrativos fueron ubicados a mayores distancias.

Defensa de la muralla

Además de las armas usuales de la época, se desarrollaron armas especializadas para la defensa de la muralla, las cuales fueron reproducidas y se muestran en la muralla. Sin embargo fue de gran ayuda para el imperio de aquella época. Ya que era frecuente que cuando en alguna torre vigía se encendiese una antorcha se alzaran también las antorchas de otras torres,provocando una alarma que llegaba de este a oeste de la muralla

Materiales

Los materiales usados son aquellos disponibles en los alrededores de la construcción. Cerca de Pekín se utilizó piedra caliza. En otros sitios se utilizó granito o ladrillo cocido. Básicamente, era una larga tapia de arcilla y arena, cubierta con varias paredes de ladrillo. Eso la hizo muy resistente a los impactos de armas de asedio.

 

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