By Katie May
The sun-soaked sands of Egypt's enormous deserts conceal mysteries that have captivated the globe for ages. The awe-inspiring pyramids of Egypt lie in the center of this mysterious region, a tribute to ancient Egyptian civilization's brilliance and sophistication. These colossal structures, known as the pyramids of Egypt, have caught people's minds, arousing curiosity and inspiring decades of exploration.
In this journey of discovery, we explore deep into the secrets of Egypt's pyramids, revealing the myths, science, and spirituality that continue to captivate us.
Exploring The Top Famous Pyramids In Egypt With Us
As we set off on an incredible adventure, come along as we explore the world-renowned Pyramids of Egypt. These ancient marvels, including the iconic Pyramids of Giza, have fascinated travelers and historians for centuries. Our guided tour will take you through the rich history and mystique of these incredible structures, allowing you to uncover the secrets of the Pyramids of Egypt like never before.
Don't miss the chance to stand in awe of the Pyramids, a testament to the ingenuity and grandeur of ancient Egyptian civilization.
1. The Pyramid of Khufu (Great Pyramid)
The Great Pyramid is one of the largest pyramids in Egypt at the ancient Giza necropolis on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo. This architectural marvel stands as the oldest among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, uniquely persevering through the ages, largely intact.
Referred to as both the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Cheops, this monumental structure is widely believed to have been constructed as a grand burial tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, a prominent figure during the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Experts approximate the construction of this pyramid to have spanned around 27 years during the 26th century BC.
Originally, the Great Pyramid boasted a sheen of polished white limestone, but the passage of time has seen the removal of nearly all of it. The core structure that remains visible today comprises approximately 2.3 million stone blocks, collectively weighing an astonishing 6 million tons. In its prime, this pyramid soared to an impressive height of 146.5 meters (481 feet), securing its place as the world's tallest manmade structure—a record it held for an astounding 3,800 years.
The Great Pyramid is one of the largest pyramids in Egypt at the ancient Giza
2. Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren)
The Pyramid of Khafre is the second-tallest of the three famous pyramids in Egypt. Its purpose was to function as the final resting place for Pharaoh Khafre, a ruler of the Fourth Dynasty who governed Egypt from 2558 to 2532 BC. Like the other Giza pyramids, the Pyramid of Khafre suffered from looting in antiquity, resulting in the removal of all its contents, including the pharaoh's mummy. When explorers first ventured into the Pyramid of Khafre in modern times, back in 1818, there were hopes of discovering a sealed and intact burial chamber, but regrettably, this was not the case. Inside the burial chamber, all that remained was an empty sarcophagus with its lid broken. Upon approaching the Giza necropolis, the Pyramid of Khafre may appear to be the tallest of the three pyramids, but this perception is an optical illusion attributed to the pyramid's location on a raised bedrock platform and its steeper sides.
3. Pyramid of Menkaure (Mycerinus)
The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the three iconic pyramids on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo in the ancient Giza necropolis.
Due to the lack of an exact description of Pharaoh Menkaure's reign, the date of his pyramid building remains unknown. Menkaure's pyramid, like the other Giza pyramids, was stolen in ancient times. Human bones in a coffin were uncovered during contemporary research. However, radiocarbon dating proved they were under 2,000 years old and did not belong to the king. The remains of a lady were discovered in a stone sarcophagus deep within the pyramid. Visitors to the Pyramid of Menkaure may now see a vertical gash on the northern face, the consequence of an attempted destruction by the Sultan of Egypt in 1196 AD. However, the endeavor failed after eight months, with just two stones removed each day.
The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the three iconic pyramids in Egypt
4. The Red Pyramid
The Red Pyramid got its name from its crimson color. However, this was not its original look. Originally, the entire pyramid was coated in white limestone, traces of which may still be seen at its base.
Surprisingly, throughout the Middle Ages, white limestone was taken (hard to believe, isn't it?) to build structures in Cairo. Red limestone was discovered behind this stratum, which may still be seen today. The Red Pyramid is usually recognized as the first successful attempt at creating a pyramid with smooth sides. It was Pharaoh Sneferu's third pyramid project.
5. The Bent Pyramid
Moving on to another of Sneferu's Dahshur pyramids, the Bent Pyramid was built before the Red Pyramid. Archaeologists believe the Bent Pyramid is a distinct transitional form that bridges the gap between the step pyramid and the smooth-sided pyramid.
Its characteristic 'bent' look is due to the fact that its base has a 54-degree inclination, while the top half has a more slender 43-degree angle. Several explanations have been proposed to explain this odd design. According to one theory, when the builders ascended, they found instability in the higher area, causing them to lessen the angle. Another version holds that they anticipated Sneferu's demise and attempted to hurry the pyramid's construction. A third theory holds that they wanted to avoid a massive calamity like Sneferu's first pyramid, the Meidum pyramid, which tragically fell during building.
The Bent Pyramid is one of the pyramids built by King Sneferu
6. The Black Pyramid
This pyramid, while officially damaged, is nonetheless worth viewing while visiting Dahshur to see the Red and Bent pyramids, just because it looks so unusual and a little spooky. The Black Pyramid is historically noteworthy because it is said to be the first Egyptian pyramid built to serve as the ultimate resting place for both the pharaoh and his queens. The moniker "Black Pyramid" comes from its "dark and deteriorated aspect." The pyramid experienced partial collapse, which was attributed in part to its construction from mudbrick rather than stone (though it was encased in limestone), and in part to its low elevation, which allowed Nile water to infiltrate the walls, causing structural cracks and subsidence into the clay terrain.
Sailboats and ancient rocks in the Nile on the way to the pyramids of Egypt
7. Meidum Pyramid
The Meidum Pyramid is the second oldest pyramid, after Djoser's step pyramid. It was Sneferu's first foray into pyramid construction. However, it was not a successful undertaking because the top part fell before completion. According to archaeologists, the pyramid's architect first tried to imitate Imhotep's step pyramid design, as seen in Djoser's pyramid, but halfway through, they attempted to incorporate revisions to the original plan.
Things To Know For Visitors Before Visiting Egypt
Where to get the best views of the Pyramids?
There are various locations on the Giza Plateau where you may capture stunning shots of the pyramids. Here are the greatest sites on the Giza plateau to see the pyramids:
- In front of the Sphinx
- Panoramic Point
- From the helicopter pad
- On a camel ride
The best place to get a view of the pyramids is of course in Giza
The best time of day to visit the pyramids
The best time of day to visit the Giza Plateau depends on which season you visit Egypt. If you visit Egypt in December or January, expect the pyramids to be cloudy in the morning. The pyramids were obscured by smog on our first two days in Cairo, although this usually cleared between 10 a.m. and noon. We were quite fortunate to have very little haze on our final day in Cairo.
How do you get to the Pyramids of Giza?
The best way to go to the Pyramids of Giza is to take a cab or Uber, join a tour, or hire a guide and driver. You may stroll directly to the Giza Plateau if you book a hotel with a view of the Pyramids.
- By Taxi: In Cairo, there are three kinds of taxis. The ancient black and white cabs lack a meter and air conditioning. The most recent white cabs feature air conditioning and a meter, so make sure your driver turns it on. The yellow cabs are the most costly. They can be scheduled in advance via phone.
- By Uber: There will be no bargaining or fretting about the driver setting a meter. This is a wonderful method to navigate about Cairo and Giza if you have the Uber app and cellular connectivity on your phone.
- By Tour: Various organizations provide tours of the Pyramids of Giza, and you can occasionally combine them with a visit to the Egyptian Museum or Saqqara and Dahshur.
- By Private Guide and Driver: Consider booking a tour if you want to avoid the inconvenience of navigating around the Giza Plateau, purchasing tickets, and so on. We don't usually take tours, but in this case, having a guide and a driver made our vacation stress-free and delightful.
So, heed the call, and let the pyramids of Egypt become a part of your own story. Stand before these towering giants, feel the weight of history, and marvel at the ingenuity of ancient builders. It's an experience that promises not only to connect you with the wonders of an ancient world but also to leave an indelible mark on your soul, forever echoing the spirit of Egypt's timeless pyramids. If you want assistance with visas, please contact Egypt Immigration Services.