For the ancient Egyptians, one's visible burial and tomb were an important part or even central part of their identity and belief system. And the Pyramids of Giza are as great a testament to that as anyone could ever hope to find to people's quest for an afterlife. These megaprojects were completed way back in Egypt's Old Kingdom some 4,500 years ago. That means that Cleopatra and Ceaser lived closer to our times than they did to the construction of the pyramids. If ever there was an ancient monument worthy to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that would be the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is also just one of the reasons why Egypt is a fascinating country to discover.

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History Of The Great Pyramid

It is believed that Pharaoh Khufu first started the building spree in around 2,550 BC. His Great Pyramid is the largest on earth and towers at some 481 feet. Also contrary to popular opinion, the pyramids are not perfect (though some a very close to it), the evolution of the design is evident in the older smaller pyramids before the Great Pyramid. We can see how they perfected their designs.

  • Fun Fact: The Great Pyramid Is Estimated To Contain Some 2.3 Million Stone Blocks
  • Stone Blocks: Each Of Those Blocks Weighs And Average Of 2.5 to 15 Tons!

Today just how these pyramids were constructed is just mind baffling. Scholars are still arguing over just how just a project was possible. But as with everything there is an explanation, even it is difficult to see. Aliens .... nope. But we do now know that the workers were skilled and well-fed.

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Khufu's son named Pharaoh Khafre went on to construct the second pyramid of Giza along with the iconic Sphinx. Carved out of limestone, this image of a mythical creature features a pharaoh's head on a body of a lion. One belief is that the Sphinx is there to stand guard to the old tomb complex.

The third of the Great Giza Pyramids is much smaller than the other two, it was built by Pharoah Menkaura in around 2490 B.C.

About The Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Giza is today the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still to remain intact and is also the oldest of the wonders by a considerable margin. Astonishingly the construction of this Pyramid is believed to have only taken around 27 years to build. Lightning speed for such a mega project in just an ancient setting.

  • World Record: It Was The Tallest Man-Made Structure For Over 3,800 Years!
  • Fun Fact: The Great Pymriad Is 27 Feet Shorter Due To People Looting The While Limestone That Once Covered It
  • Weight: The Weight Of The Great Pyramid Is Estimated To Be 6 Million Tonnes

Today we can only see the underlying core structure but when it was first completed it would have looked quite different.

There are three known chambers inside. Two of these are called the Queen's Chamber and the King's Chamber. The lowest chamber was cut into the bedrock on which the pyramid stands, perhaps surprisingly it is unfinished.

Perhaps one of the greatest shocks to tourists visiting this ancient site is that they are not remote out in the desert. Instead, they are partially within the megacity of Giza/Cairo home to around 21 million people. The Sphinx is only around 300 yards from the dense apartment buildings of the city.

It is possible to enter all three of the great pyramids, although there are extra fees for each pyramid.

  • Tip: Tourists Are Cautioned Not To Be Claustrophobic And To Be Ready For Large Crowds Of People

Related: A Travel Guide To Egypt: Tourists Should Plan Their Trip Around These 10 Things

Entering The Great Pyramid

Unfortunately, entering the Great Pyramid can be a little anti-climatic as there isn't so much to see on the side. Perhaps a little like the best view of a mountain is away from the mountain or on a mountain next to it. There isn't all that much to see inside the pyramid. That being said there are many other colorful tombs and tunnels to explore in Egypt - like the Valley of the Kings, the Bent Pyramid, and the Red Pyramid. These are more interesting on the inside. Entering the Great Pymarid is more the thrill of actually being inside the Great Pyramid!

The costs of entering the site and the pyramids are:

  • Giza Pyramids Complex: 200 Egyptian Pounds ($13)
  • Entry Inside The Great Pyramid: 400 Egyptian Pounds ($25)
  • Entry Inside The 2nd or the 3rd Pyramid: 100 Egyptian Pounds ($6)
  • Entry to the Solar Boat Museum at Giza Pyramids: 100 Egyptian Pounds ($6)
  • Pyramids Sound and Light Show:  300 Egyptian Pounds ($20)

The Great Pyramid is a wonder that is difficult to understand how it came into being. It is one of the world's greatest cultural and architectural heritage. And everyone should visit it.

Next: 10 Things To Know Before Going To Egypt