Giza is a great historical site in Egypt. You may have viewed photographs of the Pyramids of Giza a number of times, but nothing comes close to getting up close and personal with the ancient structures. The area contains a large number of pyramids, tombs, and other monuments that tell stories about the rich historical legacy of the country. No trip to Egypt can be complete without a visit to Giza.
There are tons of things to do in Giza, even though many believe that the place is only good for its Pyramids. That is true; visiting the place gets you a chance of getting close and personal with the ancient monuments that are Egypt’s most prized possessions, guarded by the majestic Sphinx. These structures never fail to wow spectators. All the things to do in Giza that you may come across work their magic till you promise to visit the place again. One of the things to do in Giza and probably the very first place any explorer visits here is the Great Pyramid of Giza, or Cheops. This particular pyramid is the most famous structure around. It was constructed around the time of King Khufu. Ancient Egyptians called it Ekhet Khufu. Herodotus describes the structure to have taken 100,000 men in order to complete its construction. The interior chambers alone make up 2,300,000 cubic meters’ making it a definite first place to visit and all things to do in Giza. Around the eastern direction of the Great Pyramid are smaller pyramids which serve as resting places for the queen and the daughters of the Pharaoh King. The larger cemetery in the same side is a tomb for relatives. There are just so many things to do in Giza; it may take a few days to do all of them. So make sure that you come ready and packed for the hot weather.
Out of all the things to do in Giza, the most celebrated structure, not just in the city but in all of Egypt, second only to the Great Pyramids, is the Sphinx. The enigmatic structures are simple but built finely in granite and shaped carefully like a lion sitting in the Northwest direction of the Great Pyramid. As part of all you can see and things to do in Giza, make sure that you visit this monument. Unlike what you may have seen in movies the original Sphinx suffers from deliberate mutilation and weathering which has inflicted much damage to the original shape. However this has not stopped the Sphinx from conveying a powerful message of majestic and artistic achievement. If you are a historical architecture aficionado this should definitely make your list of things to do in Giza and places to see. The monuments from the ancient times currently rank as the oldest manmade structures on earth. Even in the Roman and Greek times they were gazed upon as marvelous wonders of the World. From that day to now they have not failed in exuding a certain fascination and along with a very powerful vibe that talk heaps about the time that is gone. These are not just ordinary places to visit and things to do in Giza. The experiences that you gain here may stay with you for a very long while. Travelers may also be surprised that Giza Plateau is not just a plain with ancient preserved mounds and pyramids. These pyramids stand in the middle of bustling suburbs. So make sure that you get everything that you pen down in your list of things to do in Giza before you leave.
The Great Sphinx of Egypt (translated from The Terrifying One or the Father of Dread) is a large limestone statue that is built along the west bank of the River Nile, near Giza. It’s in the shape of a large sphinx as the name shows (an ancient Egyptian mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human head). The face of the sphinx is thought to represent Pharaoh Khafra.
Khafra was a cruel and heretic ruler who was well-known for his dictatorial and uncompromising ways. He ruled Egypt between 2558 and 2532 BC. The sphinx was constructed around the pyramid of Khafre as well. The exact reason for constructing the statue remains unknown. While many believe that it was built in honor of the Pharaoh, some argue that the statue was a tribute by early pagans to their deity. Equally intriguing is the fact that the statue is missing its nose; which some attribute to erosion while others relate it vandalism and artillery use.
The Great Sphinx is part of a large Necropolis area, which has been declared as a World Heritage Site. No trip to Egypt is complete without adding the Great Sphinx to one’s “Things to do in Egypt” list.
Pyramid of Djoser is the most prominent archaeological site in the Saqqara necropolis. It lies towards the northwest of Memphis, Egypt. The small pyramid was constructed during 27th Century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser, by his vizier and royal architect Imhotep.
Egyptologists believe that the Pyramid of Djoser was the first ever pyramid constructed. It consists of six mastabas built atop one another. The structure stands approximately 62 meters tall and has a base of about 190 meters. It was originally made from polished white limestone, much of which has withered with the passage of time.
The pyramid was not designed just as a grave for the Pharaoh. It was intended to facilitate the Ruler’s afterlife so that he may be eternally reborn. The burial chamber consists of several well-dressed layers of granite.
Although the tomb was robbed several centuries ago, it is thought that this was the place where the Pharaoh was once buried. For these reasons, it was designed in such a manner so as to be placed directly beneath the distant North Star.
Together with the nearby necropolis and small graveyard, the pyramid of Djoser is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Egypt and is visited frequently by locals and tourists alike.
The Pyramid of Menkaure is situated in the south-western parts Cairo in Egypt. It had an original height of 215 feet and is the smallest of the three pyramids located at the Giza Necropolis. The pyramid seems to have been constructed for an Egyptian Pharaoh known as Menkaure.
Scholars believe that the pyramid was completed somewhere around the 26th century BC. It is located to the southwest of the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Khafre. Unlike other Great Pyramids, the walls of the Pyramid of Menkaure were built using granite which was more expensive and heavier than limestone. The work on the Pyramid was abandoned when Menkaure died unexpectedly.
Visitors can see a vertical gash in the north face of the pyramid, which has an interesting story in itself. Al-Malek al-Aziz, son of Saladin, attempted to get rid of all the pyramids in Egypt and recruited large a number of individuals for this task. However, it proved to be as expensive an endeavour as it was to build the original structure. As a result, the sultan retracted from his original attempt, leaving behind a large scar on the north side of the pyramid.