The Great Wall of China is located in northern China and stretches across several provinces, including Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, and Gansu. It spans approximately 13,171 miles (21,196 kilometers) from the east coast to the west, making it one of the most extensive man-made structures in the world.
The wall was constructed as a defensive fortification to protect China from invasions and raids by nomadic tribes, particularly from the north. The construction of the Great Wall began as early as the 7th century BCE and continued for several centuries, with various dynasties making additions and renovations. The most well-known sections of the Great Wall were built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).