When most people think of Egypt, they think ‘pyramids’. A tour of Giza is a must when visiting Egypt. The Valley of Giza is located just outside of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile.
In the Valley of Giza the three largest pyramids are The Great Pyramid of Khufu, The Pyramid of Khafre and The Pyramid of Menkaura, all dedicated to a different king of Egypt.
THE GREAT PYRAMID OF KHUFU
This is the most famous pyramid in Egypt. Built for the pharaoh Khufu, the base of this pyramid covers an area of about nine acres and stands 449ft high (originally 479ft).
This pyramid was built with 2.3 million stone blocks made entirely from limestone, each weighing between 2 and 15 tons.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu
Until the 19th century, this was the tallest structure in the world and is the only one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’ still standing.
THE PYRAMID OF KHAFRE
Built for Khufu’s son Khafre, this pyramid measures 707ft on each side and was originally 471ft high.
The limestone and granite blocks used to build this pyramid each weighed about 2.5 tons.
This pyramid was built on higher ground than The Great Pyramid, giving the
illusion that this pyramid is taller!
It is believed that The Great Sphinx, near to Khafre’s pyramid, is a royal portrait of Khafre. The Sphinx was built from soft sandstone and has only survived because it has been buried in the sand many times during its lifetime. The body of the Sphinx is 200ft long and 65ft tall. Part of sacred cobra on its head and its nose have been destroyed but all in all the Sphinx is still well intact.
THE PYRAMID OF MENKAURE
This is the smallest of the three pyramids and was built for Khafre’s son Menkaure. Each side of this pyramid measures 356ft and was originally 218ft high.
There are also three small pyramids in the valley which were built for three of Khufu’s wives and several flat topped pyramids which were built for his favourite children.
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