Top Ten Walls

Top Ten Walls

The Wailing Wall2Sacsayhuaman3Great Wall of ChinaThe Berlin Wall2

Walls were meant to be broken.

  1. Great Wall of China (220-206 BC)
    Great Wall of ChinaGreat Wall of China1Great Wall of China2Great Wall of China3
    The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by the Xiongnu from the north and rebuilt and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century. Since the 5th century BC, several walls have been built that were referred to as the Great Wall. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has recently concluded that the entire Great Wall, with all of its branches, stretches for 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). This is made up of 6,259.6 km (3,889.5 mi) of sections of actual wall, 359.7 km (223.5 mi) of trenches and 2,232.5 km (1,387.2 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China,
  2. The Berlin Wall, Germany
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    The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) that completely enclosed the city of West Berlin, separating it from East Germany. The Wall included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The separate and much longer Inner German border demarcated the border between East and West Germany. Both borders came to symbolize the Iron Curtain between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc. Before the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans had avoided Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin. From West Berlin, emigrants could travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. During its existence from 1961 to 1989, the Wall stopped almost all such emigration and separated the GDR from West Berlin for more than a quarter of a century. After its erection, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with estimates of the resulting death toll varying between around 100 and 200. The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall” by the communist GDR authorities, implying that neighboring West Germany had not been fully de-Nazified. The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the “Wall of Shame,” a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt while condemning the wall’s restriction on freedom of movement. In 1989, there were a radical series of Eastern Bloc political changes associated with the liberalization of the Bloc’s authoritarian systems. After several weeks of local civil unrest following the erosion of political power of the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary, the East German government announced on November 9, 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractions, Cities, Top Ten European Citieshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Berlin_Wall,
  3. The Wailing Wall, Israel
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    The Western Wall, sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall or simply the Kotel, and as al-Buraaq Wall in Arabic, is an important Jewish religious site located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, being constructed around 19 BC by Herod the Great. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards.
    Links: Top Ten Israeli Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wailing_Wall,
  4. Sacsayhuaman (Saqsaywaman), Peru
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    Sacsayhuamán (also known as Saksaq Waman, Sacsahuaman) is a walled complex near the old city of Cusco, at an altitude of 3,701 m. or 12,000 feet. The site is part of the City of Cuzco, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983. It was built by the prehistoric indigenous people of the Killke culture about 1100 AD. They were superseded by the Inca, who occupied and expanded the complex beginning about 1200 AD. Some scholars believe the walls were a form of fortification. Others believe the complex was built specifically to represent the head of a puma, the effigy shape which Sacsayhuamán together with Cuzco forms when seen from above. There is much unknown about how the walls were constructed. The stones are so closely spaced that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the limestone blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward, is thought to have helped the ruins survive devastating earthquakes in Cuzco. The longest of three walls is about 400 meters. They are about 6 meters tall. The estimated volume of stone is over 6,000 cubic meters. Estimates for the weight of the largest limestone block vary from 128 tonnes to almost 200 tonnes.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacsayhuaman,
  5. West Bank Barrier
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    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Israeli Attractions, Top 100 Works of Street Art, Top Ten Works of Art by Banksy,
  6. Lennon’s Wall, Prague, Czech Republic
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    The Lennon Wall or John Lennon Wall, is a wall in Prague, Czech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980’s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs. In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described ironically as “Lennonism” and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic and agents of Western capitalism. The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the 2nd day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of youth ideals such as love and peace. The wall is owned by the Knights of the Maltese Cross, who allowed the graffiti to continue on the wall and is located at Velkopřevorské náměstí (Grand Priory Square), Malá Strana.
    Links: Top Ten John Lennon Songs, Top Ten Beatles Songs, Top 100 Songs, Top 100 Rock Songs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lennon_Wall,
  7. The Wall
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    The Wall is the 11th  studio album by the English progressive rock group Pink Floyd. Released as a double album on 30 November 1979, it was subsequently performed live with elaborate theatrical effects, and adapted into a feature film, Pink Floyd—The Wall. As with the band’s previous three LPs, The Wall is a concept album and deals largely with themes of abandonment and personal isolation. It was first conceived during their 1977 In the Flesh Tour, when bassist and lyricist Roger Waters’s frustration with the spectators’ perceived boorishness became so acute that he imagined building a wall between the performers and audience. The album is a rock opera that centers on Pink, a character Waters modeled after himself, with some aspects based on the band’s original leader, Syd Barrett. Pink’s life experiences begin with the loss of his father during WWII, and continue with ridicule and abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother and finally, the breakdown of his marriage. All contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, represented by a metaphorical wall. The Wall features a notably harsher and more theatrical style than Pink Floyd’s previous releases. Keyboardist Richard Wright left the band during the album’s production but remained as a salaried musician, performing with Pink Floyd during The Wall Tour. Commercially successful upon its release, the album was one of the bestselling of 1980, and as of 1999, it had sold over 23 million RIAA certified units (11.5 million albums) in the US.
    Links: Music, Top Ten Pink Floyd Songs, Top 100 Albumshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_wall,
  8. Great Wall of Gorgan
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    The Great Wall of Gorgan is a series of ancient defensive fortifications located near Gorgan in the Golestān Province of northeastern Iran, at the southeastern part of the Caspian Sea. The wall is located at a geographic narrowing between the Caspian Sea and the mountains of northeastern Iran, one of several Caspian Gates at the eastern part of a region known in antiquity as Hyrcania, on the nomadic route from the northern steppes to the Iranian heartland, and the wall is believed to have protected the Sassanian Empire to the south from the peoples to the north. It is 195 km long and 6 to 10 m wide, and features over 30 fortresses spaced at intervals of between 10 and 50 km. It is surpassed only by the Great Wall of China as the longest defensive wall in existence. It is also known as The Red Snake among archaeologists due to the color of its bricks, and as the Gorgan Defence Wall, Anushirvân Barrier, Firuz Barrier and Qazal Al’an, Sadd-i-Iskandar (Persian for dam or barrier of Alexander), as Alexander the Great is said to have passed through the Caspian Gates on his hasty march to Hyrcania and the east.
    Links: Top Ten Iranian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_Gorgan,
  9. Hadrian’s Wall, England (122 AD)
    Hadrian’s Wall
    Hadrian’s Wall, which stretches over 73 miles in Northern England, has been called by some as the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. With construction beginning in 122, to prevent raids on Roman Britain by the Pictish tribes (ancient inhabitants of Scotland) to the north, to improve economic stability and provide peaceful conditions in Britain and to mark physically the frontier of the Empire.
    Links: Top Ten English Attractionshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian%27s_Wall,
  10. Links: Monuments and Wonders, Top 100 Monuments, Architecture, Architecture by Type/Use,