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 "The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable."
– Sun Tzu
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Game Info[]


The Great Wall is the earliest defensive wonder, which can make any potential invaders' life pure hell while trying to penetrate your lands. It's recommended for all players that intend on playing defensively through the game. Just produce lots of ranged units and watch the enemy struggle to approach while their lines get cut down from afar!

Despite being a defensive wonder, it can be worthwhile to build the Great Wall if you plan to be aggressive in order to deny it to others and make domination easier. If an opponent manages to build it, they essentially have Marshes all along their border, meaning only units with 3 or more Movement Movement can reach units two tiles inside the border. This, as mentioned above, shifts the focus of combat towards ranged (and siege) units.

The effect of the Great Wall is negated when the player who owns the wonder, not the invading player, has finished researching Dynamite. This means the wonder can be of use against even more technologically advanced civilizations, greatly aiding the defense of the owner's lands until late in the Industrial Era.

Civilopedia entry[]

The Great Wall of China is one of the largest and most famous man-made constructions in the entire world. Chinese rulers built the Great Wall to ward off attack from nomadic tribesmen living in modern Manchuria and Mongolia. Interestingly, the Great Wall was not designed to keep the nomads out - the Chinese knew it was all but impossible to defend such a long border - it was designed to make it difficult for the raiders to carry off loot, thus making raids far less profitable and thus less worth the risks involved.

There have actually been five different "Great Walls" built by different Chinese dynasties. The first four were constructed of earth and have since all but disappeared. The current wall was built almost entirely by the Ming Dynasty between 1368 and 1640 AD. This wall was constructed on a grander scale, using more permanent materials (like stone). The Ming wall stretches for 3,948 miles from Shanhai Pass on the Bohai Gulf in the east to Lop Nur in the southeast portion of Xinjiang's Uygur Autonomous Region in the west. This was the region where the Silk Road first entered China, and a series of watchtowers which could communicate via smoke signals were intended to pass messages rapidly along the wall's vast length.

In pure military terms, the Great Wall turned out to be something of a failure. The Manchus were able to bribe a Chinese general to let them pass through the wall, so it turned out to be of little value in stopping a major barbarian attack. After the Manchus conquered China, the borders of the country extended far to the north, rendering the wall irrelevant. The sheer monetary cost of the wall was also staggering, and the cost in human lives is said to have exceeded over one million souls. The Great Wall is sometimes nicknamed "the long graveyard."

Today much of the Great Wall is in a state of disrepair - though the tourist regions are well-preserved, much of the rest of the structure is crumbling, and perhaps only 20% of the wall is in good condition. Despite its decay, the Great Wall remains one of China's most popular tourist attractions and a true wonder of the world.


  • Although the Great Wall affects all tiles under the owner's control, what you see on the map if you build it extends no more than 5 tiles away from the city in which it is built with the exception of Coast and Ocean tiles, and offshore islands (though the tiles still have to be under your control), and it expands every time you reload the game until it reaches the 5-tile limit in all directions.


See also[]

Civilization V Wonders [edit]
World Wonders Alhambra GodsKings5 clearAngkor WatBig BenBorobudur BNW-onlyBrandenburg GateBroadway BNW-onlyCN Tower GodsKings5 clearChichen ItzaColossusCristo RedentorEiffel TowerForbidden PalaceGlobe Theatre BNW-onlyGreat Firewall GodsKings5 clearGreat LibraryGreat LighthouseGreat Mosque of Djenne GodsKings5 clearGreat WallHagia SophiaHanging GardensHimeji CastleHubble Space Telescope GodsKings5 clearInternational Space Station BNW-onlyKremlinLarge Hadron Collider2Leaning Tower of Pisa GodsKings5 clearLouvreMachu PicchuMausoleum of Halicarnassus1Motherland Calls2 BNW-onlyNeuschwanstein GodsKings5 clearNotre DameOraclePanama Canal2Parthenon BNW-onlyPentagonPetra GodsKings5 clearPorcelain TowerProra BNW-onlyPyramidsRed Fort BNW-onlySistine ChapelStatue of LibertyStatue of Zeus1StonehengeSydney Opera HouseTaj MahalTemple of Artemis1Terracotta Army GodsKings5 clearThree Gorges Dam2Uffizi BNW-onlyUnited Nations
National Wonders Circus MaximusEast India Company BNW-onlyGrand Temple GodsKings5 clearHermitageHeroic EpicIronworksNational CollegeNational EpicNational Intelligence Agency GodsKings5 clearNational TreasuryNational Visitor Center BNW-onlyOxford UniversityPalace
Natural Wonders Cerro de PotosiEl DoradoFountain of YouthKing Solomon's Mines BNW-onlyKrakatoaLake Titicaca2Lake Victoria BNW-onlyMt. Everest2Mt. FujiMt. Kailash GodsKings5 clearMt. Kilimanjaro BNW-onlyMt. Sinai GodsKings5 clearOld FaithfulRock of GibraltarSri Pada GodsKings5 clearThe Barringer CraterThe Grand MesaThe Great Barrier ReefUluru GodsKings5 clear
1 Requires a DLC2 Сut from the game

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.