Pyramids of Giza - History and Facts | History Hit

Pyramids of Giza

Remaya Square, Giza Governorate, Egypt

Giza is home to Ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid and the famous Sphinx as well as two other incredible pyramids.

Lily Johnson

16 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Pyramids of Giza

Giza or ‘Al Giza’ is undoubtedly a tourist hotspot in Egypt and the site of some of Ancient Egypt’s most famous landmarks, most notably, the famous Pyramids of Giza.

Pyramids of Giza history

Amongst the pyramid complex may be found the pyramids of Pharaohs Khufu, Khafra and Menkaure. The largest pyramid in Giza – and the world! – belongs to the second king of the Fourth Dynasty, Khufu or “Cheop”.

Khufu’s pyramid is Giza’s oldest and, at its great size of 145 metres, became known as “The Great Pyramid”. In fact, Khufu’s pyramid was once the tallest structure in the world as well as being one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The second largest pyramid in Giza belongs to Khufu’s son and fourth king of the Fourth Dynasty, Khafra (or Khephren). The elevation on which Khafra’s pyramid is built is deceptive however, making it appear larger that his father’s.

The smallest of these three kings’ pyramids belongs to the sixth king of the Fourth Dynasty, Menkaure and is one-tenth the size of Khafre’s.

The Fourth Dynasty of Egypt ruled during a period known as the Old Kingdom, lasting between 2686 BC and 2181 BC. It was Egypt’s first great era of civilisation, and Pharaohs used the construction of pyramids such as those at Giza to exert their power, or sometimes as great tombs to hold their mummified bodies after death.

Pyramids of Giza today

A UNESCO World Heritage site, today Giza is one of the best places to explore Ancient Egypt.

Visitors can enter each of the pyramids or view them together from the dramatic panorama point, while the the Great Sphinx is also located nearby. Estimated to date back to 2528–2520 BC, some Egyptologists believe that this majestic half man, half lion is modeled on Khafra.

Several other tombs and Queens’ pyramids pepper Giza’s landscape, some of which are open to the public, most notably, the tomb of Seshem-nefer IV.

This site also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Egypt.

Getting to the Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are located in Giza, Egypt’s third-largest city around 10 miles from Cairo. Pre-arranged transit from Cairo is recommended, which is around a 30-minute drive away, however large tourist buses will also run to and from the Pyramids.

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