Giza Pyramids: Revealing Egypt's Hidden Mysteries and Fascinating Facts |
published Nov 21, 2022

EGYPT: What you should know about the Gizza pyramids and nobody tells you

EGYPT: What you should know about the Gizza pyramids and nobody tells you

The Pyramids of Giza are at the top of the list of many travelers who want to visit Egypt. However, there are many myths and doubts hovering over these structures. Are these the pyramids that best represent the Egyptian civilization?

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only survivor of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World - all the others are gone, victims of climate, time and man's destruction, but the Pyramid of Khufu is still there. Imposing, majestic, watching us from above its 4,500 years of history. So it's natural that when someone thinks about visiting Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza are at the top of their list.

There are older structures in Egypt (and the world) than the Great Pyramid of Giza, but there is no building as old and large that remains in such pristine condition — testament to the building expertise of Hemiunu, the architect of the incredible structure.

Many trips start in our imagination, and reality doesn't always match what we imagine, personal expectations are obviously very subjective, but I believe that the Great Pyramid does not disappoint anyone. It is true that it is not in the middle of the desert, as many still think, and that close to it there is the entire huge city of Cairo, but the scale of the structure itself is impressive. The dimension of each of the stones that compose it is absolutely incredible!

It should be remembered that when people talk about the Pyramids of Egypt, they are almost always talking about the Pyramids of Giza and when they talk about the Great Pyramid, they are talking about the greatest of all, the one that is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops (depending on whether the ancient Egyptian name or the ancient Greek name is used).

The Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the Pyramids of Giza, but interestingly it doesn't look the biggest. The second oldest - the Pyramid of Khafre or Chephren (as the Greeks later called it) looks a little bigger, both in person and in photographs, but the truth is that it is lower than the Great Pyramid.

The optical illusion is caused by the fact that the pyramid of Khafre (the middle pyramid) was built on higher ground than the pyramid of Khufu. It was a kind of clever trick Khafre used to make his pyramid more prominent without dishonoring his father.

The third pyramid that we see in Giza is the Pyramid of Menkaure. This was not built until later, but Menkaure also found a clever way to make his smaller pyramid stand out: he had it built in red granite instead of white limestone. Most of this beautiful granite has long since disappeared, but there are still some spots in the pyramid where we can see the preserved original red granite.

In addition to the three pyramids of the pharaohs, there are six more pyramids, these belonging to the queens. Three are next to Menkaure's Pyramid and three are next to Khufu's Pyramid.

So in Giza there are a total of nine pyramids, although we don't always get to see them all in most photos.

Is it worth it to enter the Great Pyramid?

It depends on the expectation. Many find this part of the experience a little disappointing because, although the interior may once have been decorated from floor to ceiling with gold and riches, none of these treasures have survived, and today those who enter only find empty walls…

On my first visit, I entered this dark and suffocating path and, honestly, I didn't think it was worth the effort, so this time I didn't repeat it.

Other visitors however were very happy with the idea of ​​entering the most famous ancient monument in the world and enjoyed the experience. It depends a lot on each one.

Much more interesting is to enter the tomb of the architect Hemiunu, which is located near the pyramid of Khufu and contains reliefs of his image and several hieroglyphs carved on the walls.

In a way, I can say that this time I appreciated the Giza Plateau better, because I didn't have to face the crowds of tourists that once occupied the place and the hundreds of street vendors that would not let go of you until they managed to make a sale.

The place is quieter, more peaceful and that, of course, only benefits it and shows the importance of sustainable tourism.