One of the oldest surviving relics of the truly ancient world is also one of the most mysterious. Sitting atop the plateau of Giza, the Great Pyramids keep a silent vigil over the nearby bustling urban center of Cairo. The trio of grand ancient structures cut an imposing figure on the skyline, a constant reminder to the modern world of the ingenuity of the ancient Egyptian civilization of millennia past. The Great Pyramids are one of the most stunning attractions travelers can visit, so it may be time to start planning for Africa travel so you can scratch this world famous landmark off your bucket list.
Constructed roughly 4,500 years ago, the Great Pyramids are truly a piece of the ancient past. Built as tombs for the pharaohs, the massive structures provide us not just with insight into the culture of the ancient people who built them, but also their fair share of mysteries as well. The vast and ornate chambers within the pyramids are filled with art and artifacts giving us a glimpse into the lives of those who inhabit them, but their very construction is a point of contention for many historians.
Despite their sheer size, PBS reported that the Great Pyramids were actually built in just under three decades. Without the use of pulleys or even the wheel, the slaves who built these monoliths pulled the multiple-ton stone blocks up ramps made of mud using papyrus ropes.
Paying a visit
As one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks on the planet, roughly 3 million people flock to Egypt to visit the pyramids each year. Located at the Giza plateau a mere 10 miles outside of Cairo, your trip to Egyptian antiquity starts with a bus or a cab out of the big city. Although you’ll be able to see all three pyramids, USA Today stated that one is always kept closed to the public in accordance with a strict rotating maintenance schedule.
Even the pyramids that are open for you to explore are fairly conservative with their tourist admittance. According to USA Today, only 150 tourists are let inside each day, and tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. Tickets must be purchased the day of your visit, so if you want to maximize your chances of admission, you’ll want to get to the ticket office as close to the 8:30 a.m. opening time as possible.