The Pyramids Of Giza
Cairo • Egypt

From: Cairo Travel Guide

See also: CitadelSultan Hassan Mosque


The Pyramids Of Giza, Cairo, Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza were built during the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom and form part of an amazing site that is filled with these complex structures which along with the Great Sphinx have become such famous symbols of Egypt's history and will surely take your breath away.

The Pyramid of Khuhu is the largest and indeed oldest of the three Pyramids that form what is known as the Great Pyramids which lye within a complex of monuments that forms the Giza Necropolis, the other two pyramids are called Khafre and Menkaure.

The Pyramid of Khuhu
The Pyramid of Khuhu was built between 2584 and 2561BC as a tomb for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and is the only one of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World that remains still standing and relatively intact.

The Pyramid is impeccably positioned with each side pointing towards the cardinal points of North, South, East and West and is around 146 meters in height, which when you consider at what age these pyramids were built is pretty impressive.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built out of Limestone blocks that were cut elsewhere and shipped up the Nile where they were transported to the site and lifted into position. The Pyramid was then finished with casing stones which had a smooth finished surface, unfortunately these have all gone from the Pyramid.

There are two entrances to the Pyramid the lowest entrance to the Pyramid is located on the North side and was made by tomb robbers who cut through the incredibly thick outside walls to gain entrance, with the original entrance positioned about 15 meters above it. From the entrance a narrow corridor leads you down to a burial chamber, from here there is also an ascending corridor which leads you into the central part of the pyramid and on to the Grand Gallery where the Queens Chamber can be found with a further set of stairs ascending yet higher into the pyramid that takes you to King Khuhu's burial chamber.

The Pyramid of Khafre
The Pyramid of Khafre lies next to the Great Pyramid of Giza and is slightly smaller being around 136 meters in height. The pyramid was built for the fourth-dynasty Pharaoh Khafre and was also made out of Limestone, there are still some of the buildings original casing stones at the top of the pyramid, however several were taken and used to build other buildings in Cairo.

The Pyramid of Menkaure
The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the three Pyramids at Giza and originally stood at 65.5 meters in height and was built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Menkaure.

When Egyptologist Richard William Howard Vyse first entered the tomb in 1835 he discovered a wooden sarcophagus upon which was inscribed the name of the Pharaoh Menkaure, however after careful diagnostics it was discovered that the body was only around 2000 years old and so could not have been that of Menkaure. Further into the tomb Vyse discovered another more elaborate sarcophagus which was believed to be that of Menkaure however the sarcophagus was lost at sea when the ship it was travelling on sunk.

The Great Sphinx
The Great Sphinx ( Abu al-Hol) stands in front of the Pyramids where it was carved out of the bedrock that forms the Giza plateau and is believed to have been built around 2532 BC. This incredible monument stands at just over 20 meters in height and is around 50 meters in length. The Sphinx has the head of a human wearing a head dress with the body of a cat and has its forelimbs stretched out in front of it. The Sphinx is relatively well preserved due to being buried under the sand for many years.

Attraction Location Guide
The Pyramids of Giza are to be found 25 kilometers to the southwest of the city of Cairo about 8 kilometers from the town of Giza.

There is very little fresh air within the Pyramid and humidity is high, there are also several steep steps within the pyramids along with corridors that are incredibly narrow which does make it feel very claustrophobic. Although the site is fairly tourist friendly women should still dress reasonably conservatively to help avoid any unwanted male attention.

Camel Rides
If there was ever a place to go for a camel ride it has to be here in front of the Pyramids. Ensure that you fix a price before you embark on you camel ride and be aware taking photos will cost you extra.

There is a wonderful light and sound show which take place at the Pyramids every night, the shows are available in several different languages and are another really fun way of enjoying the Pyramids whilst learning about the history of Egypt and the Pyramids.

It is worth knowing there is a limit of 300 people day permitted to enter the Pyramids so it is wise to get there early to avoid disappointment.