Thursday, August 22, 2013

Top of the Heap!



Monday's Riddle helped us break down the wall, and Lizzy's review of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang told us about a young girl who put one up. Friday, we have another great independent book store to tell you about, and Saturday, we always enjoy hearing from you on The DMS Wants to Know. Today, we thought we'd share a little history about these interesting structures- after all, it's just another brick in the wall ; ) 

This week's top of the heap: Great walls!


Fairday: I am going to go with The Great Wall of China. It's seriously amazing. Can you imagine the work involved in building this structure- talk about determination! I would have given up after block #2 and said, "Oh, who cares? Just come over!"- lol. I wonder what the moon thinks of it? ~ F

Here's some facts: 

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of successive dynasties. Several walls, referred to as the Great Wall of China, were built since the 5th century BC. The most famous is the wall built between 220 BC and 200 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang; little of it remains; it was much farther north than the current wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall is the world's longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km (4,000 miles) from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 6,700 km (4,160 miles) in total. It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. At its peak the Ming Wall was guarded by more than one million men. It has been estimated that somewhere in the range of 2 to 3 million Chinese died as part of the centuries-long project of building the wall.


The first major wall was built during the reign of the First Emperor, the main emperor of the short-lived Qin dynasty. This wall was not constructed as a single endeavor, but rather was created by the joining of several regional walls built by the Warring States. It was located much further north than the current Great Wall, and very little remains of it. A defensive wall on the northern border was built and maintained by several dynasties at different times in Chinese history. The Great Wall that can still be seen today was built during the Ming Dynasty, on a much larger scale and with longer lasting materials (solid stone used for the sides and the top of the Wall) than any wall that had been built before. The primary purpose of the wall was not to keep out people, who could scale the wall, but to insure that semi-nomadic people on the outside of the wall could not cross with their horses or return easily with stolen property. Read More! 

Lizzy: I am going to pick the Berlin Wall. It is such a great symbol of freedom and a mark to the end of the Cold War. And, it's amazing to think about what people can accomplish, regardless of the objective. The Berlin Wall was erected virtually overnight, and taken down just as fast. Fascinating! ~ L

Here's some facts:
On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete "Antifascistischer Schutzwall," or "antifascist bulwark," between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western "fascists" from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.

On November 9, 1989, as the Cold War began to thaw across Eastern Europe, the spokesman for East Berlin’s Communist Party announced a change in his city’s relations with the West. Starting at midnight that day, he said, citizens of the GDR were free to cross the country’s borders. East and West Berliners flocked to the wall, drinking beer and champagne and chanting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”). At midnight, they flooded through the checkpoints. Read More!

10 comments:

  1. I hope to see the Great Wall one day.

    I vividly remember news about the Berlin Wall in the 80s.

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    1. Hi Media Sharif, Me too! It would an amazing adventure to walk along that path of history. Thanks so much for stopping by! ~ F

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  2. I wonder if there are any other walls that I don't know about because these are the two I would have come up with as well. I didn't know the facts about the Berlin Wall though so thanks for that. Is that what the Pink Floyd song is based on?

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    1. Hi Adriana,
      These were the two that popped into our heads- but, I'm sure there are lots of historical walls to talk about! I'm not entirely sure about the Pink Floyd album- I know it was written about the war and Roger Waters father- one of my favorite groups : ) Thanks so much for stopping by. It's always lovely to hear from you! ~ F

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  3. Greetings human,

    Wow, quite the wall info here. My human recalls that day when the wall in Berlin came a tumbling down.

    Now,I'm suddenly thinking of an album by Pink Floyd. The album, to respond to Adriana, was recorded in 1979. And before I make a total brick of myself, I must now go.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Hi Klahanie, Thanks so much for popping in on us! It's great to hear from you! ~ F

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  4. Awesome post :D Oh, I do love looking at the wall of china. Pretty :)

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    1. Hi Carina, Thanks! The Great Wall of China is truly amazing! Always a pleasure to hear from you. : ) ~ F

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  5. Most interesting. The Great Wall has been one of my historical places forever. The Berlin Wall - I remember when it came down, thankfully.

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    1. Donna- I remember when The Berlin Wall came down, too. My brother was living in Germany and my dad was there visiting. Thank goodness it came down! I have always found The Great Wall fascinating. Thanks for stopping by! ~Stephanie

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