top of page


Blog by: Pol Rijnders, traveller, tour guide and teacher in Tourism & Leisure 


Walls. Excellent things to help organize a house, support upper floors, strengthen structures, keep out the weather and so on. They are especially nice when they have windows in them, so you can look outside (if outside is nice). If not, you can just decorate the walls with designated paper, paintings, pictures or basically anything you like.


Some really important walls are not part of any particular building. They are solitary structures with a higher purpose. The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall over 2000 years ago, to keep out the barbarians. The Great Wall of China was erected to keep out the furious nomads from the northwest. And the Berlin Wall was formed to… oh well, it was insane. It was the ugly face of a political powergame and tore apart a country and its families. It was some sort of ideological boundary for almost thirty years and brought nothing but misery.


Nowadays, these three historical walls – or all that is left of them - are tourist attractions. They no longer serve their original purpose. Modern barbarians will not be stopped by a brick wall and the new Cold War cannot be contained by a brick construction.


Still, The Walls remain very popular. I will list two reasons for this:

  1. Ubiquitous political and / or religious conflicts and the struggle for power all over the world – Last summer I was pretty close to the wire fence between Georgia and South Ossetia, a fine example.

  2. Existing socioeconomic differences – The wall of Melilla should keep Africans from making their way to their Shangri La: Europe.


To all wall-novices: you might be surprised by reason number 2. But I will explain: Many of us Earthlings are poor, some of us are rich. If they can, the poor will try to get to the places where prospects are better. Some of the rich don’t like that. You might call them populists. They build walls. But even populists know that walls will not solve the poverty issue. (Or political conflicts.) But that is not what the walls are intended to do. They help retain status quo and provide a sense (or illusion) of safety.

And they are ugly.


I don’t know if you have ever seen the walls at the West Bank, but these must be some of the most hideous structures ever built by man. Anyone who agrees with me, will be happy to hear that the world has a new wall authority.

I should warn you, the orange one will not tackle the reasons for the building of the walls, but he will address quality and aesthetics!

The new leader of the free world will build a great, great wall! Nobody builds walls better than him! He will build an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern wall! It will look as good as a wall is going to look! It will be a real wall!


I hope this will make you feel better about walls.

Related education pack

Related education package


Sign up for EduMail and receive our monthly newsletter with free education material and background information on a wide variety of subjects on tourism, hospitality, anthropology and social studies.

bottom of page