When it comes to examples of amazing fencing, Portland Oregon has its share. Northwest homeowners often get creative with their Portland fencing materials, resulting in some unique and fascinating fences. Of course, to find the most truly thought-provoking fences, you’ll have to look outside of Portland. Here’s a look at three of the most famous fences in the world:
1. The Great Wall of China
Concerned that you can’t get enough security from wood fences, Portland residents? Maybe a stone fence is just what you need. The Great Wall of China is essentially a stone and earthen fence that once extended more than 5,000 miles. Considering its incredible length, it shouldn’t be too surprising that no single Chinese ruler built the Great Wall. Instead, the wall’s construction began in the fifth century BC, and its extension and maintenance continued through the 16th century AD.
Many different rulers contributed to the wall’s many branches. This ancient fence was built to protect China’s northern borders from nomadic invasion. We can tell you that fencing Portland, Oregon homes isn’t nearly as dangerous as it was to build ancient Chinese walls – it is estimated that one million workers died while building the Great Wall.
2. Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall runs 73 miles across the midsection of England. The Romans began constructing it in 122 AD, although historians aren’t entirely sure why. Some scholars believe it was built to satisfy Roman Emperor Hadrian’s policy of shoring up defense before expanding into new areas. Whether or not the Scottish tribes to the north of the wall were strong enough to provide a true threat to the great Roman Empire is still debated.
Hadrian built stone fences, or limes as they were known in Latin, all over England. (As a linguistic side-note, the plural of limes is limites, which could be where the English word limit originates.) Some scholars believe Romans used Hadrian’s Wall and other limes as control mechanisms over customs, immigration and smuggling. In other words, one of the world’s greatest fences may have been built to allow the collection of taxes. Today’s Portland fencing materials are put to much more innocuous uses, like keeping the dog in.
3. The Berlin Wall
The Berlin wall was the central chink of the “Iron Curtain” separating Western Europe from the Soviet Eastern Bloc. The German Democratic Republic (GDR), part of the Eastern Bloc, built the Berlin Wall in 1961. At first, the border was simply a series of torn-up streets with troops standing guard over the “death strip,” a no man’s land where defecting East Germans could be easily shot. Later, barbed wire entanglements and concrete walls were erected to divide East Germany from West Germany.
The GDR’s official motivation in constructing the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart,” or Antifaschistischer Schutzwall in German, was to protect its people from Nazi elements lingering in Western Germany. According to the GDR, these Nazi remnants were a threat to its building of a socialist state in Eastern Europe. The actual effect of The Berlin Wall was to prevent East Germans from emigrating or defecting to Western Berlin and the rest of free Western Europe. It is estimated that as many as 5,000 people tried to cross the Berlin Wall during this time; 100-200 of those died during their attempts. The Berlin Wall finally fell in 1989, following radical political changes in the Eastern Bloc.
As these famous fences from around the world tell us, there are many different political motivations for building strong fencing. Some historical fences, like the Great Wall, kept out invaders; others, like the Berlin Wall, kept citizens in. Whatever your personal motivation for putting up fencing, Portland, Oregon residents, we can help you meet your goals. From chain link to wood fences, Portland homeowners know Rick’s builds fences that will last.
[ photo by: matt512 ]