The pyramids of Giza, are located in Giza, Egypt, on the west bank of Nile River near Cairo. The pyramid is located at the northern edge of the Giza plateau. It lies in the desert west of Giza, next to the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure (Khufu's son and grandson).
The Great Pyramid rises about 450 feet. It lost about 30 feet off the top over the years due to erosion. When it was first completed, the Great Pyramid rose 146.7 m (481.4 ft.), nearly 50 stories high. It covered 13 acres. The pyramid is thirty times larger than the Empire State Building. It did not always look as rough as it does today. When the pyramid was first made it was covered with a layer of tight-fitting, very polished, 20-ton stone slabs. The covering has been worn off over the years.
Description of the Interior
The interior of the Great Pyramid is very complicated with a series of passages leading to several rooms. The most important room is the King's Chamber, the room where Khufu's body was placed during his funeral. In this room the priests left items that Khufu, would need for the afterlife. Although the builders tried to block passages and doors when they left the pyramid after the king's funeral, tomb robbers did eventually take everything of value.The entrance to the Great Pyramid was set 17 m (55 ft.) above ground level. It was made to be used only once, during Khufu's funeral. The entrance leads to the Descending Passage. The walls in the King's Chamber are made of red granite. A number of corridors, galleries, and escape shafts either lead to the King's burial chamber or were intended to serve other functions. The King's chamber is located at the heart of the pyramid. Most impressive, is the sharp-edged stone over the doorway which is over 3 m (10 ft) long, 2.4 m (8 feet) high and 1.3 m (4 ft)
None of the workers that built the pyramid were slaves. Most of the workers were probably farmers contracted to work for a limited period. It is estimated that 2,300,000 blocks of stone, weighing 2 to 70 tons each, were used in building the pyramid. But recent computer calculations estimated the total number of slabs to be about 590,712. Although no one knows how the blocks were put in place, a lot of theories have been suggested. One theory says that they made a straight or spiral ramp that was raised as the construction continued. This ramp, which was coated with mud and water, helped the placement of the blocks which were pushed (or pulled) into place. A second theory says that the blocks were placed using long levers with a short angled foot.
The Great Pyramid was built during Khufu's reign (2551 BC - 2528 BC). The great pyramid was built while Khufu was the pharaoh. It was built around the year 2560 BC to serve as a tomb when he died. The great pyramid is believed to have been built over a 20 year period. From about 2550 to 2530 B.C. The Egyptian Pyramids are the oldest and only surviving member of the ancient wonders.
Before you visit the site of the Giza Pyramids, you have to know the following facts:
- It is forbidden to climb the Pyramids. You are only allowed to climb up the stone steps that lead to the entrance, which is 55 feet above ground level.
- t is strongly advisable to e Wear good walking shoes.
- If you wish to take a car onto the site, you need to get a car parking ticket. 2 LE for a small car, 5 LE for minibuses, 10 LE for a coach.
- The best time to go the Pyramids, is in the morning between 0800 and 1200. - or 156:00 to 17:00
- If you wish to go inside the Great Pyramid, there is an extra ticket for this that will cost you 100 LE. You will find the ticket office for the entrance to the Great Pyramid in front of the north-eastern side of the Pyramid. Sometimes is quite difficult to get this ticket, as the amount is limited to a certain number of visitors. They sell only 300 tickets daily, and they are divided among morning and afternoon. They sell 150 at 0800, and then, at exactly 1300, the other 150.
- If you wish to go inside Khafre's Pyramid, you will have to get an extra entrance ticket - 20 LE. In addition to that, they charge 10LE for cameras.
- As for Menkaure's Pyramid, it is now closed for restoration. The Pyramids are opened on a rotational basis, usually it would last for a year, so that restoration work can be done.
- If you want to get a camel or horse ride, the best place for this are the stables at the foot of the Pyramids plateau, it is cheap and safe.
- In order to get rid of the vendors, simply say "No, thank you! " or "La Shukran" and they will go away Believe it or not, it works.
- As for the street vendors Don't say the word "Emshi", like many of the guide books will advise you, it is simply means get lost, and you don't want to offend anyone in there , after all they are just trying to make a living. Here are Some useful Arabic words for you
- Tip : If you don't want to pay the extra entrance ticket for any of the above mentioned pyramids Pyramids and still want to have similar experience of being inside one, then go the eastern side of the Great Pyramid and you will find there three subsidiary smaller Pyramids (one was for the Khufu's daughter, one for Khufu's wife and the third one for Khufu's mother). Two of these Pyramids (his wife's and his mother's) are opened for visitors, and there is no extra charge to get in. All you need to do is show your site ticket to the guard and you will be in!
- If you ever feel that you need to go to the toilet while you're conducting your visit, then the best place to go is at the boat Museum which is located in front of the southern side of the Great Pyramid. Just tell the people at the entrance that you only want to use the toilet and they will let you in.
egyptian pyramid of giza interior
Getting to Giza
Go by bus to the Giza Pyramids for easiest travel, by routes 355/357; you'll ride in a large white, air-conditioned bus. These buses arrive every 20 minutes from the airport and Heliopolis. You may have to flag one down. They stop at at Abdel Menem Riyad Station in Midan Tahrir, next to the Egyptian Museum, then go on to Giza and the Pyramids. Tickets cost LE 2, a bargain price.
There are also yellow taxis. These taxis have meters and air conditioning, and you won't have to haggle as with the black-and-white taxis mentioned below. Cost is comparable.
A taxi can be had anywhere in central Cairo. However, haggle for the price you'll pay. In addition, be careful, because taxi drivers will likely take you hither and yon around the city for the precise purpose of fattening their price and emptying your wallet, unless you know better. Unless you want this to happen, make sure you haggle to just go to your direct destination.
What to See
Most must-see attractions within the Giza area are concentrated on the Giza plateau at the end of Pyramids Road. These include:
The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops)
The Great Giza Pyramid of Khufu is the last surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was originally 146 m (479 ft) high but now stands a still impressive 137 m (449 ft). Over 2 million blocks of stone were used to construct it, and all with manual labor.
The Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren)
The Giza Pyramid of Khafre is a little smaller than the Great Pyramid but appears slightly larger than it from a few angles because of a better position on the plateau.
The Solar Barque Museum
The Solar Barque 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. Entry fee is LE 40.
The Pyramid of Menkaure (Mycerinus)
The Giza Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the Giza Pyramids and stands just 62 m (203 ft) high (originally 66.5 m).
It should be noted that although not all of that Pyramids can be equally accessed so that interested parties can explore them inside, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities will be closing even the accessible ones one at a time so that they can do conservation and renovation work.
The Pyramids Sound and Light Show
Admission for foreign languages shows is LE 60, Arabic show LE 11, and private shows in foreign languages, LE 65 + LE 300, which also covers operating expenses. The Arabic private show is LE 16.50 + LE 150, which is perhaps slightly kitsch and also takes liberties with historical detail. Nonetheless, these are worthwhile evening activities.
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 Sphinx and the Temple of the Sphinx
The Sphinx, a colossal, recumbent human-headed lion, was the Egyptians' representation of the sun god Re-Horakhty - "Horus of the horizon". Egyptians call it Abu el-Hol, the "Father of Terror." In addition, the Greek name "Sphinx," when translated, means "Strangler".
45 meters long and 22 meters wide, it is carved from a giant block of sandstone and is much smaller than the Pyramids surrounding it. It's also missing the nose, purportedly the victim of target practice by bored soldiers. Some say these soldiers were British soldiers in World War I or that they were Napoleon's troops in 1798, but 18th-century drawings show the nose is already missing, which thus points the finger at the occupying troops.
Complete your visit by going to the various Queens' Pyramids and Nobles' Tombs, which are located in regimented cemeteries surrounding the royal Pyramids.
If you can, avoid taking a camel ride around the Pyramids. It's a bit smelly and noisy, as well as overrated. In addition, the drivers themselves are often accused of harassment and petty crime. Take a camel ride, if you must, somewhere else in Egypt.
The Giza Pyramids are the main tourist attraction in Egypt and attract millions of tourists each year. Therefore, they also attract very determined opportunists. You should report any instances of harassment by camel drivers and tourist touts to the black-uniformed Tourist Police immediately.
Don't climb any of the Pyramids. This is officially forbidden and extremely dangerous.
As with anywhere in Egypt and during the hot months especially, take plenty of bottled water with you to drink and wear a hat and sunscreen. You should also wear sunglasses for further sun protection.