Great Wall of China

A long, long, long wall.

  • Great Wall of China is a very long, military style wall made out of stone, dirt, bricks and many other materials, and the Chinese name for the wall is Cháng Chéng, which means ‘great wall’.
  • The Great Wall of China is located in northern China, and runs from east to west, along what was originally the northern border of China and was mainly built to protect the country from people invading or intruding from the north, and was also used to control who enters and exits China.
  • Northern walls were built around various Chinese states, some of which were built as early as 656 BC, and eventually these were joined to make the Great Wall of China.
  • Building, and joining the existing northern state walls to make the Great Wall of China, commenced around 220 BC and was built and rebuilt over centuries, during different periods of Chinese history.
  • The total length of all the sections of the Great Wall of China measures 21,196 km (13,171 miles) in length and gets up to 12 meters (39 feet) high, with the main Ming section just over 8,800 km in length.

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Great wall of China
Image courtesy of Cescassawin/ Free Digital Photos
  • Many parts of the Great Wall of China have disintegrated, been damaged, or been removed, and are not repairable, whilst other parts have been restored.
  • It is estimated that between 2 to 3 million workers died whilst building the Great Wall of China, and it is said that when a worker died, they were buried inside the wall.
  • The Great Wall of China was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
  • The Great Wall of China originally had between 10,000 and 24,000 watchtowers, with 1 million guards along the Ming section of the wall.
  • The Great Wall of China has been said to be the only man-made structure on earth visible from space with the naked eye, however this is a myth that started back in the 1750s, and the wall is only barely visible, with the right conditions, during low orbits of the earth.
Bibliography:
Great Wall of China, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China>

Parthenon

Ancient structure from ancient times.

  • The Parthenon is a temple located in the Acropolis of Athens, above the city of Athens, in Greece.
  • The people of the city of Athens believed that the Greek goddess Athena, was the city’s patron, and so they built the Parthenon and dedicated to her.
  • The Parthenon was built in 447BC and completed in 438BC, while decoration was finished in 432BC.
  • In the 5th or 6th century AD, the Parthenon was turned into a church and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and later became a mosque, after Athens was invaded by Turkey in the 15th century.
  • The Parthenon is 13.72 metres (45 feet) in height, and was built with 81 Doric style columns and 4 Ionic columns, a total of 85 columns, made from white marble.

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Parthenon
Image courtesy of Jack Guilliams/Flickr
  • The word ‘Parthenon’ in Greek actually means ‘place of the virgin’ or ‘unmarried women’s apartments’.
  • In 1687 part of the Parthenon was destroyed by an explosion in the temple.
  • Originally, there were life-size marble sculptures in the Parthenon, many of which are now exhibited in museums.
  • Since 1975, the Parthenon has undergone various stages of reconstruction and restoration, directed by the Greek government.
  • The building of the Parthenon was supervised by the sculptor, Phidias, and the architects were Iktinos and Kallikrates.
Bibliography:
Parthenon, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon>

Taj Mahal

What is the Taj Mahal??

  • The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum, or tomb, in Uttar Pradesh, India, that is constructed mainly of white marble.
  • Shah Jahan, a Mughal Emperor, commissioned the Taj Mahal for his third wife and the building started the year after she died.
  • The Taj Mahal was built between 1632-1653.
  • The Taj Mahal is commonly viewed as a Muslim masterpiece and includes designs from Turkish, Islamic, Persian, and Indian architecture.
  • The Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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Taj Mahal
Image courtesy of Hal Brindley/ Free Digital Photos
  • At the Great Gate of the Taj Mahal there is calligraphy that says ‘O soul, thou art at rest, return to the Lord at peace with him, and he at peace with you’.
  • The garden of the Taj Mahal is 30o meters (980 feet) square.
  • By the 1800s parts of the Taj Mahal were badly damaged and restoration took place under the supervision of Lord Curzon, a British viceroy, which was completed in 1908.
  • The wooden structure of the tomb in the Taj Mahal is rotting, which could possibly cause the tomb to collapse by 2016.
  • Two million people visited the Taj Mahal in 2001.
Bibliography:
Taj Mahal, 2013 Wikipedia,<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal>

Steamroller

Before diesel.

  • Steamrollers were rollers that flattened roads.
  • Steamrollers were powered by steam, although the term steamroller is still applied to the more modern rollers run by diesel.
  • Steamrollers flattened surfaces due to the mass of the vehicle and the cylindrical like drums, called rolls.
  • Steamrollers typically had three rolls and were controlled by gears.
  • Steamrollers are often seen in action at steam shows.
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Steamroller
Image courtesy of Mr Pbps/Flickr
  • The most famous steamroller manufacturer was the British company, Aveling and Porter.
  • Britian was the largest steamroller producer and exported many of the machines to other countries.
  • Part of the M1 motorway, the highway from London to Leeds, England, was built by steamrollers.
  • Sometimes stemrollers had scraper bars fitted, that removed foreign material from the surface of the roll.
  • Steamrollers have been popular in movies, music and books, including the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends series and Bob the Builder episodes.
Bibliography:
Steamroller 27 February 2013 , Wikipedia,  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamroller>
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