The Great Pyramid of Giza is also known as the Pyramid of Cheops or as the Pyramid of Khufu (Khufu is the original ancient name of Cheops, the pharaoh). In ancient Egypt, they referred to the Pyramid as “Ahet Hufu”, which translates into Hufu’s Horizon. It is the oldest and largest pyramid of the three iconic Egyptian pyramids in Giza.
Located near the City of Cairo on the Giza Plateau, the pyramid’s construction began during the 4th dynasty (around 2580 – 2560 BC) and some Egyptologists believe that the
pyramid was built over a 10 to 20 year period for the second Pharaoh of the 4th dynasty, named Khnum-Khufu (Cheops).
The Great Pyramid of Cheops is the oldest and the only remaining one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The architect of this amazing wonder remains unknown to date.
The pyramid is 241 meters square in plan, with a height of 153 meters and a base covering 230 meters of the ground. The pyramid is made up of about two million stone blocks, each weighing an average of 2.5 to 16 tones each.
The pyramid is oriented almost perfectly towards the north and it encompasses three known chambers inside. The first is the King’s Chamber, the main chamber in the pyramid and the tomb of the pharaoh, better known as the Sarcophagus of the Cheops. The next chamber is the Grand Gallery, which is 8.5 meters high and about 47 meters long. Last but not least is the Queen’s Chamber, located underground in the middle between the north and south faces of the pyramids - despite the name, no queen was ever buried in this chamber as queens could not be buried in the same place as pharaohs.
The original entrance to the pyramids is not in use today. Tourists can enter into the chambers through the Robber’s Tunnel, which was built around the 9th century AD by Caliph al Ma’mun.
The pyramid is one of the world’s oldest structures, and yet, its architecture is so advanced that it could not be duplicated today. Some theorize that the pyramid was built by aliens as no one can wrap their heads over such an immaculate example of architecture.
Two more pyramids accompany the Pyramid of Cheops and create the famous trio of Giza: Khafre Pyramid, with a height of 144 meters and Menkaure Pyramid, with a height of 110 meters.
By Bus: Bus 355/357 runs from Heliopolis to the Pyramids via Midan al-Tahrir every 20 minutes.
By Metro: The Giza station is on Pyramids Road, and a taxi or minibus will take you from there to the plateau.
By Taxi: Ask for "el-ha-ram."