The Giza pyramids are located some eight km inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 20 km southwest of Cairo city center.
Of the three principal Giza pyramids, only Khafre’s pyramid retains part of its original polished limestone casing, towards its apex.
It is interesting to note that this pyramid appears larger than the adjacent Khufu pyramid by virtue of its more elevated location, and the steeper angle of inclination of its construction it is, in fact, smaller in both height and volume.
Tip from INFOHUB: There are three ways of getting to the pyramids. The first is by the new air-conditioned bus No. 355. Pick it up from Midan Tahrir at the Egyptian Museum, and take the 20-minute bus ride for 2 Egyptian pounds (= 0.35 USD). You can also take a minibus, which leaves from Oberoi Mena House Hotel. Ask for the bus to “Haram”. It costs EP 25 (4.5 USD), and you will be dropped off short of the pyramids. The third option is a taxi, that will cost you about EP 30 one way.
The most active phase of construction here was in the 25th century BC.
The ancient remains of the Giza necropolis have attracted visitors and tourists since classical antiquity, when these Old Kingdom monuments were already over 2,000 years old. It was popularized in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today it is the only one of the ancient Wonders still in existence.
Due largely to nineteenth-century images, the Giza pyramids are generally thought of by foreigners as lying in a remote, desert location, even though they are located in what is now part of the most populated city in Africa. Consequently, urban development reaches right up to the perimeter of the antiquities site, to the extent that in the 1990s a Pizza Hut and KFC restaurant opened across the road.
Tip from INFOHUB: The Giza Pyramids’ Sound and Light Show is definitely worth the $7 USD that you pay for your ticket to sitting area in front of Cheops’ pyramid. It is not recommended that you view it from the Pizza Hut window seats for free, as one guidebook suggests, since the view is inadequate, and you get a better feel for the story when you’re up close to the Sphinx, so that you can hear everything told about Egyptian history and other things. It’s already cheap! So, don’t cheat yourself by trying to save a few dollars. Also, there’s an extra $ 3-4 fee if you want to use a tripod during the show, which is a must in order to achieve incredible pictures. The show is about 45 minutes and is given in three different languages. So, if you’re in Cairo for only a couple days, arrange to see it right away, so as not to miss out on your language of choice.
The ancient sites in the Memphis area, including those at Giza, together with those at Saqqara, Dahshur, Abu Ruwaysh, and Abusir, were collectively declared a World Heritage site in 1979.
Although hypotheses put forward by Robert Bauval are universally regarded by mainstream archaeologists (Lehner 1997) and Egyptologists as a form of pseudoscience, Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert (1994) proposed that the three main pyramids at Giza form a pattern on the ground that is virtually identical to that of the three belt stars of the Orion constellation. Using computer software, they wound back the Earth’s skies to ancient times, and witnessed a ‘locking-in’ of the mirror image between the pyramids and the stars at the same time as Orion reached a turning point at the bottom of its precessional shift up and down the meridian. This conjunction, they claimed, was exact, and it occurred precisely at the date 10,450 BC.