On May 11, 2013, the second day of his visit to China, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia acquainted himself with the sights of the country, particularly the Great Wall of China.
His Holiness was accompanied by members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as AI Denisov, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation in China.
Staff at the museum of the Great Wall of China related to the Patriarch the history of building the historical monument.
The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church noted:
"The Great Wall of China is a remarkable monument of ancient architecture. It impresses with its size, and anyone who tries to climb over this wall can understand how difficult it was to build. Getting acquainted with this monument, we come into contact not only with the history and culture of the country; we come in contact with the very spirit of China and can understand that it represents the Chinese nation, its traditions and strong-willed installation.
All this instills respect for our great neighbor. Russia has also been marked by a great manifestation of the power of the spirit of our people - and in those wars that we participated and, in particular, in the development of Siberia, which required extraordinary effort. It astounded and now affects so many people. And here, in the Far East, the two powerful countries, the two strongest nations share a border. Combining efforts, we must work together for a better future for our peoples and the whole world."
Further, the delegation went down to a tea house, where His Holiness shared his memories of previous visits to China and, in particular, the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall of China is the largest architectural monument. It runs along northern China, including in the vicinity of Beijing. Construction of the first wall began in the III century BC, during the reign of Emperor Qín Shǐ Huángdì (Qín Dynasty) to protect the state from the raids of the nomadic Xiōngnú people. One fifth of that day's population participated in the construction, that is about a million people. A gluey rice porridge mixed with slaked lime was used in laying the stone blocks. The length of the wall from end to end was 2,500 kilometers. Those sections of the Great Wall that have survived to our time, were built mainly during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).