Six Famous Walls

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Sometimes it's hard to come up something to write about. But when you stare at the wall to think of a subject, it seems natural to write about walls. Here are six of the most notable.

Jericho

The Walls of Jericho were made famous by tumbling down. The city of Jericho, on the West Bank near the Jordan River, has been occupied in one form or another since 9,000 BC. The Book of Joshua in the Bible describes the Battle of Jericho, where the Hebrews circled the town seven times and the defensive walls of the city collapsed. It was the Israelites' first victory in the conquest of Canaan. Archaeology at the site shows the city has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.

Hadrian's Wall
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Hadrian's Wall was built in England by the Roman army in 122-130 AD. Of several defensive walls they constructed, Hadrian's Wall is the most famous, because parts of it still survive today. It originally extended from Segedunum to the shore of the Solway Firth, a distance of 117 kilometers. The official purpose of the wall was to defend against the Picts of the north, although there is some speculation that it was also to give the Roman legions something to do while occupying England.

More walls, after the jump.

Pink Floyd
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The Wall by Pink Floyd was recorded in 1979. Over 30 million copies have been sold, and the album is often cited in various lists of "best albums." It was made into a movie in 1982. Floyd's Roger Waters intended to star in the movie, which was planned even before the album was recorded, but after he failed his screens tests, Bob Geldof was cast in the lead role. The Wall refers to a psychological wall the protagonist builds to isolate himself from the world around him.

The Western Wall

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The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is a retaining wall in Jerusalem that survives from the time of the Second Jewish Temple. It is the closest area to the original Holy of Holies that is publicly accessible for Jewish prayer and worship. The original location of the Temple is under control of a Muslim council; it is also the site of the Dome of the Rock, a sacred Islamic shrine.

The Berlin Wall
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The Berlin Wall was the ultimate symbol of the Cold War for 28 years. After World War II, control of Germany was divided between the Allies. Although Berlin lay within the Soviet zone, it was also divided among American, British, French, and Soviet rule. In the years after the war, so many citizens left East Berlin for the relative freedom of the other zones that the USSR began construction of the wall in 1961, effectively isolating West Berlin. Approximately 5,000 people still escaped to the free zones, and around 192 people were killed in the attempt. On November 9, 1989, the wall and its effective purpose fell under pressure from thousands of protesters and refugees. East and West Germany were formally reunited a year later.

The Great Wall of China
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The Great Wall of China is the most famous wall of all. 6,400 kilometers long, it is the longest human-built structure ever. The first parts of the wall were built in the 5th century BC, and was added to and repaired through the 16th century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Over 130 million tourists have visited the most accessible part of the wall, at Badaling, just north of Beijing.This photo is by Flickr user Saad.

What other walls belong in the "famous" category?

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September 27, 2007 - 1:05am
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