When it comes to precast concrete walls, you may need them to enclose a subdivision of homes, protect a warehouse, or improve security for an industrial power grid. What you probably don’t know is that walls have been used for millennia to keep people out (and keep people in). A wall is a simple solution to a complex problem. To show how complex the problems motivating walls in our world can be, AFTEC will show some of the most famous border walls from around the world and the reasons for those walls.
7 Famous Border Walls and the Conflicts That Motivated Their Building
To emphasize the importance of walls throughout history, we’ve gathered the seven most famous walls to review, as well as the conflicts that motivated their building. From an ancient Sumerian bulwark to the wall in Berlin, you’ll learn a bit of history and the importance of walls.
#1. The Berlin Wall
The world’s most recent and famous wall was erected in 1961. The Soviet-aligned East German government separated Germany with concrete partitions. The aim was to use this barrier to keep out enemies of the state and other fascists. In fact, the wall was used to keep East Germans from defecting to West Germany. The maze of 12-foot walls kept people out, as well as kept people in.
#2. The Constantinople Walls
As a defense tactic, the walls of Constantinople protected a flourishing civilization for more than a millennia. Upwards of 14 miles of barricades surrounding the Byzantine metropolis. Of these walls, the Theodosian walls were the most famous. They protected the civilization from military units and enemies advancing on the metropolis from the mainland. This wall included a moat, 27-foot outer wall, and a 40-foot internal wall that was 15-feet thick. What toppled the massive walls of Constantinople was the use of cannons by the Turks, effectively sieging cities and capturing Constantinople.
#3. The Great Wall of China
This wall is made of stone, wood, and earth. It meanders from the Gobi Desert to the North Korean Border for thousands of miles. In the 3rd BC, construction began beneath Emperor Qin Shi Huang. However, the more famous sections of the wall were erected between the 14th and 17th centuries as a defense for the Ming Dynasty to fend off the steppe nomads of the north. These popular portions stand more than 25-feet tall and were built using materials like brick, mortar, slaked lime, and sticky rice.
#4. Hadrian’s Wall
The Roman emperor Hadrian ordered that a stone wall be built to protect the region from “barbarians” to the north. A 73-mile rampart resulted, and it ran from west Solway Firth to the River Tyne. At its peak, the wall rose to 15-feet and was about 10-feet wide. Gates, guard towers, and barracks dotted the wall. 1,600-plus years of looting and deterioration has reduced the wall, but it still stands as a monument of history.
#5. Wall of Gorgan
It’s distinctive red colored bricks and serpentine shape through modern-day Iran prompted the Great Wall of Gorgan to be nicknamed “Red Snake.” Initially, it was thought that this wall was erected as a part of Alexander the Great’s reign, but later studies suggest that the wall was built by the Sasanian Persians around the 5th century AD. Once completed, it was boasted as the longest wall at about 121 miles, hosting more than 30 forts and 30,000-plus troops. A network of canals acted as a defensive moat and a water supply to the troops. Not much more is known about the wall, but it’s also said that the Persians used it to defend against advances from the Hephthalite Huns and other significant enemies in the north.
#6. The Walls of Athens
You may have seen movies about Athens. It’s a canon in antiquity as a source for inspiration and power. Athens was one of the most powerful cities in Greek history, but it had a significant weakness. The city was a little over four miles from the sea. To fix this problem, the Athenians built the Long Walls of Athens to connect the city to the sea. Once completed, these walls created a siege-proof channel so that Athens could resupply with little to no conflict from enemies or otherwise. The key to the wall was Athen’s vast navy, which protected the sea side of the walls. During the Peloponnesian War resulted in the Spartans defeating the Athens navy and dismantling the walls.
#7. The Sumerian’s Amorite Wall
As one of the world’s earliest recorded civilizations to build a wall, the Sumerians did so to keep out the Amorites during the 21st century BC. The “Amorite Wall” is believed to have stretched for more than 100 miles between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in modern day Iraq. the ancient Sumerian rulers Shu-Sin and Shulgi’s successor eventually conceded defeat to the Amorites and the neighboring Elamites when they discovered that they could simply walk around the wall. Portions of the wall still stand today.
AFTEC: Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Wall Systems
Whether you need a wall for a subdivision or an industrial power complex, AFTEC is here to help. We offer precast concrete wall systems that are more efficient, easier to erect, and durable to last for decades. What’s more, we offer a variety of aesthetic options that can meet your needs. Are you ready to discuss your wall project and mark your place in history with your wall? Get a quote from AFTEC today!