Discover Ancient Egyptian Monuments | About Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt mark a glorious time in human civilization. Located in the Giza Necropolis, just outside the city of Cairo, they were built by three Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt some 4500 years ago. Regarded as an architectural marvel, the Pyramids of Giza are one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Read on to get all the information about the Pyramids of Giza.
Pyramids of Giza: An Overview
What are the Pyramids of Giza?
Why Visit the Pyramids of Giza?
The Pyramids of Giza are one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the only surviving wonder of the ancient world. In 1979, they were also made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The pyramids aren’t just the structures you see from the outside. Each one is part of a large complex that includes temples, burial tombs, and more. They were built by the ancient Egyptian pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. Millions of tourists visit Egypt every year to see the Pyramids of Giza.
Pyramids of Giza Opening Hours
Summer (April - September): 8 AM - 5 PM
Winter (October - March): 8 AM - 4 PM
Best Time to Visit: It’s best to visit the Pyramids of Giza in the mornings between 10 AM and noon.
Who Built the Pyramids of Giza?
Pyramids of Giza Construction
How the ancient Egyptians constructed the Giza pyramids is a matter of debate. The Great Pyramid of Khufu alone used over 2 million blocks of stone, each weighing between 25 to 80 tons. The three pyramids were mostly built using quarried at Giza, though they also used granite from Aswan and higher quality limestone from the nearby port city of Tura.
These stones were cut to be the same size and transported by boat down the Nile. Finally, they were assembled using ramps and levers to create the pyramids, masterpieces of technical skill and engineering.
The Pyramids were constructed by tens of thousands of workers and laborers, not slaves as it was once believed. Experts hold that there was a workforce of roughly 20,000 to 40,000 during peak seasons. Worker graffiti shows that they were divided into groups of 40 men and then sud-divided into teams of 10.
Today, you can still visit the remis of the worker’s village where they lived during the construction of the pyramids. There is also evidence that the village was home to support personnel such as bakers, physicians, priests, and more.
History of the Pyramids of Giza In a Nutshell
- The Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu began construction of the Great Pyramids of Giza in the 26th century BC, and it was completed around c. 2560 BC.
- Khufu’s successors, Khafre and Menkaure build their own pyramids at Giza between c. 2570 and 2500 BC.
- The Pyramids were looted by grave robbers during ancient times, but later Pharaohs renewed the site and added new structures at the complex.
- During the Roman Empire, Giza became a popular tourist site.
- Under the medieval Islamic Caliphs of Cairo, explorations were undertaken. But in In 1196 AD, Al-Aziz Uthman tried to destroy the pyramids.
- After the French invasion of Egypt in 1798, early egyptologists studies the Pyramids,
- From the 1920s onwards, modern Egyptologists have made valuable discoveries about the pyramids.
The Pyramids of Giza Today
Today the Giza Complex is one of the most popular tourist sites in the world. In recognition of their importance to history, they were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Archeologists continue to study the pyramids, and on ongoing project is the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, which excavates the Workers Village where the pyramid builders lived.
There are also ongoing plans to revamp the pyramids of the Giza complex by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism to make the site more accessible and promote tourism in Egypt.
What's Inside the Pyramids of Giza?
The Pyramids of Giza were once sealed to prevent people from entering, but today you can actually go inside the pyramids and see the inner workings of these incredible monuments.
When you descend through the passageways you will find grand galleries, and various chambers, including the Burial Chamber with the sarcophagus (or coffins) of these ancient kings of Egypt.
Pyramids of Giza Highlights
The Pyramids of Giza Complex includes many ancient wonders, including the three pyramids themselves, temples, burial tombs, and more.
Giza Solar Boat Museum
Near the Great Pyramid of Khufu is the Solar Boat Museum. It was built in 1985 to house the reconstructed solar boat of the pharaoh. This was the ship buried with the king to use on his journey across the heavens.
Around the Pyramids of the three Pharaohs, there are smaller pyramids belonging to the pharaohs’ queens, mothers, and daughters. These include the tombs of Queen Khentkaus I, and Queen Hetepheres.
The worker's village is where the workers who built the Pyramids of Giza lived. It was discovered in 1988 by archaeologist Mark Lehner at the southeast of the Giza necropolis. Here you can also find the bakeries and breweries built for the workers.
Each of the Giza Pyramids have a number of attached temples, including a valley temple were where the bodies of the pharaohs were prepared for burial, and a mortuary temple where priests worshipped the deceased pharaohs.
How to Visit the Pyramids of Giza?
The Pyramids of Giza are a ticketed attraction, so you need to buy tickets to visit the Giza Complex and see the pyramids themselves. You can buy tickets at the two entrances to the site – the Sphinx Entrance and the Great Pyramid Entrance.
You can also get Pyramids of Giza tickets online if you don't wish to purchase tickets on the spot. This way you will be able to avoid long queues and get a number of added benefits like cashback and discounts on your tickets.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Pyramids of Giza
A. The pyramids of Giza were built during the fourth dynasty by the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.
A. The pyramids of Giza were built for the ruling Pharaohs of that time. The three pyramids are the tombs of the Kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.
A. There are three main pyramids of Giza, belonging to the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. There are also around six smaller subsidiary pyramids belonging to various royal women.
A. The Pyramids of Giza are over 4500 years old.
A. The oldest of the pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built in c.2600 BC. That makes it about 4600 years old.
A. The Great Pyramid of Giza is 137 meters tall; the Pyramid of Khafre is 136 meters high; and the height of the pyramid of Menkaure is 62 meters.
A. The largest pyramid at Giza is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, which is 137 meters (or 449 feet) tall.
A. The Pyramids were built using large limestone blocks quarried nearby. Egyptians used meticulous geometry to plan the Giza Pyramids, and then assembled using ramps, sledges, rollers, and levers.
A. Pyramids are the tombs of the Pharaohs. They are filled with are many chambers including the King's Chamber where you will find their sarcophagus.
A. Yes, visitors can enter all the three Pyramids of Giza, as well as a number of the Queen’s Pyramids.
A. No. The pyramids are protected ancient ruins and climbing them can cause damage and is also very dangerous.
A. The pyramids are open seven days a week from 8 AM - 5 PM in the summer and 8 AM - 4 PM in the winter.