The Pyramids of Giza are one of the top tourist sites in the world. It’s became one of the main appeals for travellers to visit Egypt. This bucket-list historical site is located in the northern region of the country, on the western bank of the Nile river.
There are a total of nine pyramids, but you’ll find the three largest and most famous ones on the Giza Plateau. Don’t forget to visit the Great Sphinx too, which is the largest monolith statue in the world. If you’re eager to visit the Pyramids, here are five facts to discover before your trip commences!
1. The Pyramids of Giza were built more than 1,200 years before the rule of King Tut
The Great Pyramid of Giza is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site, the oldest and last remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the World. Additionally, this pyramid is the oldest and largest of all nine pyramids found at the Giza Necropolis, and is the final resting place of King Khufu. The Pyramid was completed in 2560 BC and took around 20 years to build!
2. The Great Pyramid of Giza is 481 feet tall
The Great Pyramid was the tallest building in the world for 3,800 years! In fact, the first building to surpass its height was the Lincoln Cathedral in England, constructed in 1311.
In comparison, the Pyramids of Khafre is 448 feet tall, which is about 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. The third main pyramid, the Pyramid of Menkaure, is much shorter at 213 feet. This is about the same height as the famous sails on Australia’s Sydney Opera House.
3. The Pyramids were built by the Egyptian people themselves
Egyptologists are not 100% sure how the pyramids were built, but the most popular belief is that they were constructed by the Egyptian people as an act of civil service.
In fact, experts believe that 20,000 – 30,000 skilled masons, engineers, architects, surveyors and other craftsmen constructed the Khufu temple. Furthermore, historians have estimated that over 100,000 construction workers were involved in the overall construction of the Pyramids of Giza.
Also, each limestone block weighs two tonnes, so it’s hard to fathom how the people were able to lift them and form such perfect pyramids. However, some scholars have a theory that a ramp and pulley system was used to complete the mission.
4. The Great Pyramid used to have an invisible door
It’s believed that the pyramid once had an invisible swivel door weighing almost twenty tonnes. Interestingly, it could only be identified and opened from the inside.
It’s no surprise, then, that the door was so heavy that the opening mechanism was only discovered when scientists were studying the Great Pyramid. The Egyptians’ ability to create and manage this effective feature has remained a mystery to date!
5. The chambers of the pyramids are empty
The tombs under the pyramids initially stored human remains and gifts that their spirits would take with them to the afterlife. This was extremely common in the ninth century. However, once the pyramids were opened to the public, a lot of looting left the chambers bare, apart from Khufu’s red-granite sarcophagus.
Additionally, the white limestone casing covering the exterior of the pyramids was taken by various rulers and kings who used it in other building projects. When you visit the pyramids, you can see the evidence of break-in attempts, with a deep hole in the pyramid’s structure still visible today!
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