Friday, December 2, 2011

The World's Most Famous Walls

If Walls could talk, they would have quite an interesting story to tell, as many different cultures have built fascinating walls for various reasons. They have been a sign of unity, and they have been a sign of discord. The existence of a wall indicates a cultural history that can have an impact on civilization for years to come. The planet has many well-known Walls that would be interesting to see. Here are the world’s most famous and impressive walls that you must see before you die.

1. Vietnam War Memorial, Washington D.C.
Maya Ying Lin designed this wall in Washington in memory of those who fought in the Vietnam War. There are almost 60,000 names of military personnel who were killed or missing in action. Several family members have left poems, letters and photographs at the Memorial site. This wall is a moving reminder of the sacrifices that men and women made during Vietnam.

2. Berlin Wall, Germany
The Berlin Wall symbolizes the resistance between The Soviet Union and the Allied Forces in the midst of the Cold War. The wall was erected to keep citizens from East Germany from going to the east because the conditions were more favorable. Almost 80 people were killed while trying to cross the wall. It was finally torn down in 1989 but remains open to visitors.

3. Sacsayhuaman, Peru
Sacsayhuaman is a walled compound in Peru that was built around 1100 AD. The Incas lived in the area, which consist of stones that are extremely close together. The structure is so sturdy that it has survived many earthquakes in the region. This complex is rich with history and a sight to behold.

4. Great Wall of China, China
This spectacular wall is considered to be one of the great wonders of the world. It is 8,850 km long and took several centuries to build. You cannot miss the opportunity to walk on the wall, as it is the chance of a lifetime. It is truly breath-taking.

5. Wall of Ston, Croatia
Situated on the Pelijesac peninsula, the majestic Walls of Ston consist of the 2nd longest fortification system in the world. They extend from 5 km and consist of 40 towers and 5 fortresses. It has taken more than 50 years to complete the walls, as each new stone is hand-carved. The goal is to bring more tourists to the area.

6. Western Wall, Jerusalem
The Western Wall is the holiest location in all of Judaism. It was erected in 20 BCE by King Herod and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Today, thousands of worshipers from all religions pray each day at the wall. Men who enter must wear a hat, and women are not permitted in the men’s area.

7. Walls of Troy, Turkey
Legend has it that this city was made famous by the Trojan War and the Trojan horse. Troy consists of ancient ruins, and parts of the Walls of Troy can still be seen. Many tourists visit the site each year, which consists of a wooden horse made into a playground, several shops and a museum.

8. Kremlin Wall, Moscow
The Kremlin is a citadel located in the heart of Moscow that is a symbolized the former Soviet Union. It is the seat of the Russian government and leaders, such as Ivan the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Lenin and Stalin have made decisions here. The fortress stretches for 1.4 miles, and you can see the burial site of several Russian leaders, including Stalin and Brezhnev.

9. Great Zimbabwe Wall, Zimbabwe
The ruins at Great Zimbabwe are fascinating, as they are magnificent. African citizens built the wall between AD 1250 and AD 1450. The stone walls, which are made of granite rock, are up to 12 meters high. There is a narrow passage that permits entry to the Conical Tower.

10. Walls of Babylon, Iraq
Two walls of Babylon comprised the ancient city, and they are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. King Nebuchadnezzar II fortified some of the walls and added another wall. The walls were made of bricks and surrounded by a moat. A great deal of the walls still stand, and Iraq has hope of fully restoring the ancient site.

Photo Credit
11. Security Wall, West Bank
This is a security barrier that began construction in 2002 to decreased suicide bombings in Israel. It divides Israel from its neighbors and consists of fences, walls and trenches. It is a controversial structure, and by the time it is completed, is expected to be 760 km in length.

12. Free Derry Corner, Derry Ireland
This historical landmark appeals to hundred of tourist each day. It was originally the site of civil rights marches, and the wall has become a well-known symbol of resistance. The British Army tried to destroy the structure on numerous occasions, but the citizens stood strong, and the wall is still standing.

13. Avila, Spain
Avila is a city that was captured by the Arab Moors in 714 AD and captured by the Christians in 1088. In the 12th century, the community had a wall built around the town. The wall consists of ninety stone towers and stretches for 2,500 meters. Many tourists today still visit the town.

14. Moroccan Wall
This structure extends through the Western Sahara and continues to Morocco. It consists of walls that were built to separate the country of Western Sahara. The wall was erected between 1980 and 1987 by Moroccan forces and consists of walls, fences and bunkers. There are also manned observation stations.

15. The Wall of Constantinople (Istanbul)
The Walls of Constantinople are a group of stone walls that have protected the city of Constantinople for centuries. They were erected by Constantine the Great to protect the city from attack. Many portions of the walls are still standing, providing evidence of the amazing durability of the empire.

This guest travel article was written by Sarah of the free Ibiza travel guide.