Discover the secrets behind these architectural wonders and their accessibility for people with reduced mobility.
The Great Wall of China (China)
More than 2,000 years ago, in the midst of the troubled Qin dynasty, a giant stone began to rise that would become known throughout the world as the Great Wall of China. Like an endless snake, the wall stretches from the Shanhaiguan Mountains in the east to the Gobi Desert in the west, covering more than 13,000 miles.
The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games marked a before and after in the accessibility of the famous Chinese fortification. Seven years before the event, a large investment was made to remove architectural barriers in the sixty most popular destinations in the country. Thus, ramps and elevators were incorporated into the most popular sections of the wall.
The Badaling section of the Great Wall is one of the most visited. As Top China Travel reports, it has ramps and two elevators to facilitate access for tourists with reduced mobility. It also has a leveled trail that leads to the third watchtower.
There is a sign indicating a barrier-free entrance In front of the Badaling ticket office. In order to use the elevator, you must notify the ticket office. The route will not be so long for wheelchair users, as there are stairs, but you will be able to enjoy unforgettable views.
In the case of the Mutianyu Great Wall, there is an accessible path leading to the cable car station. It is possible to reach a platform under the watchtower 14 to contemplate the beautiful landscape afterward.
Thousands of years ago, in the Jordanian desert, there was a city carved in stone that was kept hidden from the eyes of the world. Known as Petra, this ancient wonder was built by a mysterious and prosperous civilization that dominated the trade routes of the Middle East.
For centuries, Petra thrived as a center of commerce and culture, attracting travelers and merchants from around the world. However, its glory slowly faded, and the city was abandoned and forgotten for centuries, covered by sand and time.
Petra was rediscovered in the 19th century by the Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt, who was amazed by the majesty of its stone-carved monuments and intricate water systems. Since then, Petra has become a place of pilgrimage for travelers and adventurers from all over the world, fascinated by its beauty and mystery.
The visit has limitations for people with physical disabilities. There are some elevated areas and deep sand.
Aya Aghabi tells of his experience in Accessible Jordan. Golf carts to go through the Siq, the main entrance to the ancient city, are not accessible. Some visitors ride with assistance and leave their wheelchairs in the back of the vehicle. In his case, he chose to do the tour in his chair, with the help of someone pushing.
As also noted in Accessible Jordan, the site’s visitor center and museum are accessible to wheelchair users. If you have any questions, we recommend you contact the visitor center directly and plan your visit according to your needs.
The Colosseum (Italy)
The majestic Colosseum, built in the heart of Rome in the first century AD, became an eternal symbol of the glory and power of a great civilization. This impressive amphitheater hosted the greatest spectacles ever seen, from gladiator fights to dramatic performances.
In our Accessible Rome City Guide we already told you about the accessibility of this monument for people with reduced mobility.
The Archaeological Park’s website specifies that there are three wheelchairs available on the first level of the Colosseum, a signposted route to access the monument, accessible restrooms, and an elevator to take you to the second level.
Chichen Itza (Mexico)
The Itzas, known as water sorcerers, founded a sacred city in the fifth century AD. It was built in the exuberant jungle of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.
For centuries, Chichen Itza was a center of commerce, culture, and religion. It attracted visitors from all over the Mayan world. However, in the 13th century, it fell into ruin from neglect and was covered by jungle.
At the beginning of the 20th century it was rediscovered and restored, and since then it has been a popular tourist destination and a source of admiration throughout the world.
Fortunately, people with reduced mobility can visit. There are access ramps, accessible restrooms, elevators and accessible areas for wheelchairs.
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Machu Picchu was built in a remote location, high in the Peruvian Andes mountains. The Incas created this city to be a religious sanctuary and a place of retirement for the elite of their society.
This historic place has been the subject of fascination and wonder for people from all over the world. They come to admire the majesty of its architecture, explore its temples and palaces, and marvel at the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
According to the information provided by Ticket Machu Picchu, the site is accessible to wheelchair users. However, the help of a companion is needed to carry out the tour. The support staff will also help you whenever you need it.
Christ the Redeemer (Brazil)
At the top of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, stands the Christ the Redeemer. This statue is an image of Jesus Christ more than 30 meters high, carved from stone and covered in brilliant mosaic panels. Without a doubt, it has become a symbol of the city and one of the most impressive architectural wonders in the world.
There are panoramic elevators and escalators that lead to the top of the mountain, so people with reduced mobility can also visit. As indicated on the Trem do Corcovado website, there are also accessible restrooms.
Taj Mahal (India)
The Taj Mahal is a masterpiece of architecture and love. This white marble mausoleum was built over 350 years ago by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Its construction took more than 20 years.
This is a pilgrimage site for lovers and admirers of art, seduced by its impressive Mughal architecture, and a testament to human skill.
Wheelchairs are available at the ASI office at the Taj Mahal (so call the phone number indicated on their website to find out more). Also, as Disability Insider reports, almost all of the Taj Mahal is accessible except for the level of the main tomb.
Let us know, which of these wonders have you visited or would you like to visit?
Sources: Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall, Top China Travel, UNESCO, Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, China News, The China Guide, Accessible Jordan, Visit Petra, The PArCO, Chichen Itza, Perspectivas Docentes, Machu Picchu Tickets, Machu Picchu, Trem do Corcovado, Taj Mahal and Disability Insider