The Giza Pyramids are listed as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and they are visited by millions of tourists each year. They well and truly are the face of Ancient Civilization, and the are featured in almost all of our Cairo tour packages.
Egypt has what appears to be an almost infinite number of fascinating Cairo tourist attractions, but none of them are more famous and instantly recognizable than the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Located in the ancient Giza necropolis on the Giza Plateau. they are found just 25 kilometers from central Cairo. The three pyramid complexes attract millions of tourists each year, many of whom are repeat visitors. No matter how many times you visit the Giza Pyramids, the site never loses its magical allure.
The Giza Pyramids Complex
The Giza necropolis is an ancient burial ground containing three pyramid complexes (Giza Pyramids); the Sphinx; a workers village; an industrial complex and several cemeteries. There are also a number of much smaller “queen pyramids”; village pyramids and causeways.
The Pyramid of Cheops and Khufu, often referred to as the Great Giza Pyramid, is the oldest and largest of the three pyramid complexes. It is also listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and it’s the only one still in existence today.
The Pyramid Of Cheops (Khufu)
This remarkable pyramid complex contains an ancient valley temple, although it is now buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman. Archeologists have discovered various segments of the temple walls but the temple itself has never been excavated. Studies have shown that the temple was once connected to a causeway which led to the mortuary of Khufu, but unfortunately, not much remains of the causeway or the mortuary temple.
The mortuary temple was in turn connected to the king’s pyramid which also has three nearby queen’s pyramids and five boat pits. Remarkably, ships found in two of the boat pits on the southern side of the pyramid were still intact. One of these has been fully restored and is now on display for visitors to see. The pyramid itself was originally 146 m (479 ft) high but now stands a still impressive 137 m (449 ft).
Over 2 million blocks of stone were transported from various quarries to the site in order to build this imposing structure. As was the case with all pyramids, those at Giza were built using manual labor. However, it should be noted that the pyramids were not built by slaves, but instead, they were built by skilled workers who were paid, and who took great pride in their work.
Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren)
This Giza pyramid complex also contains a valley temple; a causeway and of course the pyramid itself. When you visit the Giza Pyramids necropolis, the Pyramid of Khafre appears to be the largest of the three pyramids, but this is only due to the fact that it was built on a slightly more elevated area. The steeper outer walls also add to the illusion, but in reality, it is smaller in height and volume compared to the Pyramid of Cheops. Numerous statues of Khafre were discovered in the valley temple, also sometimes called the Sphinx temple, during excavations in 1860 and again in 1909.
Pyramid of Menkaure (Mycerinus)
The Pyramid of Menkaure complex also consists of a valley temple; a causeway and three small queen’s temples. Several statues of Menkaure were found at the site but ironically, it’s the only one of the four main structures that no longer contains any of its original polished limestone casing.
The Great Sphinx
Unlike the Giza Pyramids that were built using hundreds of thousands of carved rock slabs, the Sphinx was carved out of a single giant limestone rock. While the exact age of the Sphinx remains unclear, it is generally believed to have been complete around 2500 BC. At 73.5 meters (241 ft) long, 19.3 meters (63 ft) wide, and 20.22 meters (66.34 ft) high, it is the biggest monolith statue in the world, and also the world’s oldest monumental statue.
Most historians believe that the Sphinx was built for Pharaoh Khafra, and that its face is in fact the face of the pharaoh. However, there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding the Sphinx, including how it got its name, which in English means “Terrifying One” or “Father of Dread”.
Regardless of anything and everything, the Great Sphinx which has the body of a lion and the head of a man is recognized all over the world. It is well and truly an icon that immediately makes one think of ancient Egypt.
Other Attractions At The Giza Pyramids Complex
While the three main Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx are naturally the biggest crowd pullers, there are also a few other attractions at this ancient necropolis which are well worth checking out during your Egyptian holiday.
The Solar Boat Museum
The Solar Boat Museum is just alongside the southern face of the Great Pyramid. This museum is well done and showcases an excavated reconstructed “solar boat,” which was buried with the pharaoh for use on his daily journey with the sun across the sky. It should be noted that entry to the museum is not free, and admission is typically not included in the price of pyramid tours. However, we do offer custom tour packages, which can be tailored to include entrance into the museum.
The Pyramids Sound and Light Show
The “voice of the Sphinx” tells visitors of the history of the Giza Plateau and its place in Egyptian history as a laser display simultaneously picks up the details of the Pyramids and projects historical scenes on the side of the Great Pyramid itself. The Giza Pyramids Sound and Light Show is a remarkable experience and highly recommended.
Tips And Personal Safety
In 2018 Egypt is again considered to be an extremely safe place for tourists to visit, and the pyramids are no different. However, the Great Pyramids of Giza are Egypt’s most visited tourist attraction, attracting several million tourists each year. Unfortunately, such large numbers of tourists inevitably attract a number of undesirables who prey on unsuspecting visitors.
For your own safety, don’t carry more money on your person than you need, and if going with a guide, always listen to and follow their advice. If you have booked one of our Egypt tour packages, you’ll be assigned your own personal guide and driver who will stay with you throughout your tour. Our guides are all certified; experienced and extremely knowledgeable.
Last but not least – the Giza Pyramids are there for you to explore, but this only includes the interior of the pyramids. Under no circumstance should you attempt to climb on any of the structures. Doing so is not only forbidden under Egyptian law, but it is also dangerous.
Seeing the Giza Pyramids on postcards; in books or on television is one thing, but seeing them and exploring them in person is a whole different experience altogether. Do the right thing, and find and book one of our dream Cairo tour packages right now, then get ready to step inside the infamous Giza Pyramids.
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