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The Great Sphinx of Giza | Guardian of the Necropolis and an Icon of Ancient Egypt

Pyramid of GizaGreat Sphinx



Book tickets to visit the Great Sphinx of Giza

The colossal limestone statue of the Great Sphinx of Giza is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt. It was built on the Giza Plateau by the ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom, during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre. The Sphinx is believed to have the face of Pharaoh Khafre and the body of a lion, often known as the Guardian of the Giza complex.

What is the Great Sphinx of Giza?

great sphinx of giza

Interesting facts about the Great Sphinx of Giza

  • The Great Sphinx is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and was constructed around 2500 BC, during the reign of the pharaoh Khafre.
  • It measures 73 meters long from paw to tail, and 20 meters high from the base to the top of the head. At its widest point near the haunches, it is 19 meters wide.
  • The Sphinx was carved directly from the limestone bedrock, and the different strata of the stone have eroded at different speeds, leading to the horizontal striations seen today. 
  • The statue of the Great Sphinx of Giza was once covered with plaster. Its face was painted red and the menes (or headdress) was painted yellow and blue. 
  • The face of the Sphinx is said to be based on that of Khafre himself. However, today it is heavily damaged, with a broken nose and a missing beard.
  • Despite the myth that the nose was destroyed, by the army of Napolean Bonaparte, artwork from before his time (by Frederic Louis Norden in 1737) shows the Sphinx already had a broken nose. 
  • The Sphinx is oriented from west to east and faces east towards the rising sun. This was important to the ancient Egyptians who worshipped the sun and had a number of sun gods. 

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The Temple of the Great Sphinx

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Plan your visit to the Great Sphinx of Giza

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About the Great Sphinx of Giza

great sphinx of giza
Great Sphinx of Giza
great sphinx of giza
great sphinx of giza
Great Sphinx of Giza
great sphinx of giza

Frequently asked questions about the Great Sphinx of Giza

What is the Sphinx of Giza?

The Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a creature that has the body of a lion and the head of a Pharaoh. Due to its limestone composition and proximity to the Pyramid of Khafre, it is believed that the Sphinx's face was based upon Pharaoh Khafre's face. The Sphinx is also known as the Guardian of the Giza complex.

Who built the Great Sphinx of Giza?

The Great Sphinx was built during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre in around 2500 BC. Pharaoh Khafre belonged to the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom period in ancient Egypt. This close association, along with the fact that it was carved from the bedrock and the blocks were then used to construct the King’s Valley temple, indicates that this Sphinx resembles the Pharaoh himself.

Why is the Great Sphinx important?

With the body of a lion and the head of a Pharaoh, the Sphinx was constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre. In ancient Egypt, the Sphinx was associated with the sun god Ra and was considered a guardian of sacred sites. The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the world's oldest and most iconic monuments, reflecting the advanced civilization and architectural prowess of ancient Egypt.

How tall is the Great Sphinx of Giza?

The Great Sphinx, associated with the Sun God Ra, is 240 feet long and 66 feet high from the base to the top of the head. This huge sculpture reflects the spiritual beliefs and engineering achievements of ancient Egyptians. Scholars and tourists alike continue to marvel at the sheer size and brilliance of this sculpture year after year.

What is inside the Great Sphinx?

While the Sphinx of Giza is mostly solid, there are a number of passageways and tunnels bored into the structure. It is still not known who made these or why. This monumental structure was constructed under the reign of Pharaoh Khafre and was dedicated to the Sun God Ra in ancient times.

Can tourists go inside the Great Sphinx of Giza?

No, while visitors can enter some of the Pyramids of Giza, you cannot explore the interiors of the Great Sphinx. However, you can walk up to the entrance and admire this sculpture from up close. It is best to book a Pyramids of Giza camel safari tour because you can admire the sheer size and architectural details of the Sphinx from a distance.

Can you buy tickets to visit the Great Sphinx?

Yes, you can book your Pyramids of Giza tickets online that include access to the Great Sphinx. Booking tickets online will save you time and money. Make sure to check your ticket details before confirming your payment.