Visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo – Ancient Egypt
Updated August 9, 2016 / João Leitão / 12 Comments / Filed in: Egypt 🇪🇬 / Reading time 3 minutes
Pyramids of Giza
Egypt is a country that takes us back in time.
One cannot mention the city of Cairo without thinking about the Nile River, the pharaohs and the pyramids.
This chaotic Arab metropolis offers several nice places to visit, but among the major tourist sites, there is only one considered to be “The best”. I’m referring to the Necropolis of Giza a.k.a. Giza pyramid complex archaeological site on Cairo’s Giza Plateau.
Giza Plateau lies inside the desert and is about a half hour drive from Downtown Cairo.
This complex consists of three sets of pyramids, better known as the Great Pyramids. In this place we can also visit the impressive Great Sphinx, various smaller pyramids, the tombs of noble people, several cemeteries, the Solar Barque Museum and a village where artisans and workers used to live back in the pharaohs era.
The most impressive of the three pyramidal structures is the Pyramid of Cheops also called The Great Pyramid of Giza. This stunning pyramid is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Read more about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Pyramids of Giza – main structures:
- Pyramid of Cheops – the tomb of the fourth-dynasty Pharaoh Khufu (2580 BC)
- Pyramid of Khafre – the tomb of the fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khafre (2570 BC)
- Pyramid of Menkaure – tomb of the fourth-dynasty Pharaoh Menkaure (2510 BC)
- Great Sphinx of Giza – the largest carved monolith in the world, which has about 73 m / 241 ft long, 19 m / 63 ft wide and 20 m / 66 ft high (between 2558 and 2532 BC)
- The pyramids of Giza were built 4500 years ago.
- The Pyramid of Cheops has 2,300,000 stone blocks that weigh from 2 to 50 tons each.
- The three pyramids are accurately aligned with the Constellation of Orion.
1- Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)
This pyramid stands out for its grandeur. Belonging to the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt (2613 to 2494 BC) it was the tallest building in the world for more than 3,800 years until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built in 1889.
Cheops pharaoh reigned between 2589 and 2566 BC. It took about twenty years to build the pyramid which is made up of three compartments: the lower chamber, the Queen’s chamber and the King’s chamber.
The 147 m / 482 ft tall Pyramid of Cheops is the largest and oldest of the Giza pyramids and was built around 2580 BC.
Instagraming from the pyramids:
Andrej Ciesielski climbed the Giza pyramids and took amazing pictures.
Check out and follow Andrej Ciesielski on Instagram.
2- Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren)
The materials used in this construction were red granite and limestone. The engineers took advantage of the hilly terrain to sculpt the nearby Great Sphinx.
Khafre pharaoh reigned between 2520 and 2494 BC. The team of archaeologists found an empty sarcophagus inside the pyramid.
The 136 m / 446 ft tall Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest of the Giza pyramids and was built around the year 2570 BC.
3- Pyramid of Menkaure (Mycerinus)
Menkaure pharaoh reigned between 2530 and 2500 BC. Like his grandfather and father, he ordered the construction of a pyramid to be his royal tomb.
Inside Menkaure pyramid, they found huge sculptures and works of art. This is the least spectacular of the pyramids since the pharaoh died unexpectedly.
The 65 m / 213 ft tall Pyramid of Menkaure is the third largest of the Giza pyramids and was built around the year 2510 BC.
Some photos of the archaeological site:
Map of Giza Pyramids:
A bit more about Cairo
The enormous city of Cairo has over 16 million people and extends along the east bank of the Nile River. It is the largest city in all of Africa and the Middle East. Its impressive viewpoints give us exceptional panoramic views of the river, its surrounding valleys and the arid desert.
Before the Arab Spring, Cairo attracted millions of tourists mainly because of the Great Pyramids of Giza. But apart from the pyramids, Cairo actually has an enviable urban heritage and many monuments and museums worth visiting.