Egypt is an African country popular for the pyramids in Cairo. Due to the pyramids, the country is also known as the land of pyramids.
If you visit Egypt, then you can see many pyramids. However, here we will discuss the 6 popular pyramids located in Cairo.
1. The Top 6 Pyramids in Cairo
If you book a package for a pyramid tour in Cairo, then the Giza pyramids will surely be featured in most of the tour packages.
The Giza pyramids are regarded as the most famous place to visit. Besides, this trip step pyramids of Djoser is also on the list. These two will surely be on the list of tours, along with some others.
After reaching Cairo, if you want to add some extra places to visit, then you can do so. The trips are always arranged here in a very customized manner so that you can easily make changes to the packages.
During your visit to Egypt, you may feel hesitant to get the best knowledge about where to visit and where you will find the most beautiful pyramids. Therefore, in this article, we will tell you about the top six pyramids that are located in Cairo.
The top six pyramids are
- Pyramids of Pharaohs Khufu
- Khafre near Cairo
- Menkaure near Cairo
- The step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara
- The Red Pyramid at Dashur
- The Bent Pyramid at Dashur
These are the most visited pyramids in Egypt. If you miss any of these, then your trip to Cairo will not be complete. Below, we will discuss these pyramids in detail.
1.1 The Pyramid of Khufu
The Khufu Pyramid is also known as The Great Pyramid. The Khufu pyramid is the biggest pyramid among the three pyramids situated at the ancient Giza necropolis on the border of present-day place Cairo.
The Great Pyramid is also the oldest among the seven wonders of the Ancient world. It is also the only pyramid that is still standing. Therefore, when visiting Egypt, this place is a must.
The Pyramid of Khufu is also known as the Pyramid of Cheops. According to historians, this pyramid was built to provide the service of a burial tomb for the pharaoh Khufu.
The pharaoh Khufu is the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh. According to the reports from historians, it is thought that the pyramid was built over 27 years during the 26th century.
The Khufu pyramid was actually cased in polished white limestone, nearly of those limestones are removed. However, the core structure that you will see there is made up of nearly 2.3 million blocks of stone.
Therefore, the total weight of this pyramid is almost 6 million tons. The actual pyramid’s height is nearly 146.5 meters, which means 481 feet. Due to its height, it is the tallest manmade structure in the world.
It is a record that was held for the next 3,800 years. This pyramid of Egypt was robbed and looted like other famous pyramids of the country. The pyramid is always open for visitors.
As it is one of the most popular pyramids of the nation, it features in almost all of the tour packages. However, if you want to go inside the pyramid, you need to buy an admission ticket from the site.
1.2 Pyramid of Khafre
After the Khufu pyramid, the pyramid of Khafre is the second largest pyramid of Giza. Like the pyramid of Khufu, it was also built to serve as a burial tomb for pharaoh Khafre.
It served as the Fourth dynasty pharaoh who used to rule the country from 2558 to 2532 BC. Like the other pyramids at Giza, the pyramid of Khafre had everything in it, including the pharaoh’s mummy as well.
It also got robbed and looted like other pyramids. When the Khafre pyramid was found and first explored during modern times in 1818. It was thought that the burial chamber would be found sealed and still intact.
However, the truth is something else. Everything that remained in the burial chamber was fully empty, and the lid was also broken.
As per the reports, the pyramids of Khafre were first opened during the time of the 19th dynasty to take out some casing stones that were used for the Heliopolis temple constructions.
This was done due to Ramses II’s order. However, it is still not known when the other stones were taken off.
After the arrival at the Giza necropolis, the Khafre pyramid was thought to be the tallest among the three pyramids. However, later, it came to be known that it was just an incorrect understanding.
This misunderstanding is caused by the fact that the pyramid was built on an upper section of bedrock and also due to its steeper sides.
Like the Khufu pyramid, it is always open for visitors. On the other hand, if you want to visit the pyramid from the inside, you need to buy an admission ticket from the ticket office.
During your trip to Egypt, if your package includes visiting pyramids and you want to go inside them, then you can customize it, even after the completion of the booking.
1.3 Pyramid of Menkaure
The pyramid of Menkaure is also known as Mycernius. It is the smallest among the popular pyramids of the ancient Giza necropolis. It is situated on the border of the present-day city of Cairo.
The reports suggest it was built to provide service for the Menkaure pharaoh as a burial tomb. It is a fourth-dynasty pharaoh.
However, it is not known when the pharaoh Menkaure started ruling, and that’s why the actual time of construction of this pyramid is not known.
Like the other two pyramids of Giza, the Menkaure was also looted and robbed as well. When the pyramid of Menkaure was explored in modern times, a coffin with some human bones was discovered.
Therefore, by using radiocarbon dating, it came to know that the bone was 2000 years old, which means the bones were not pharaoh Menkaure. Besides, a stone sarcophagus was also found very deep that contained the remaining body parts of women.
If you visit the Menkaure Pyramid, you will see a vertical gash towards the north side. This vertical gash is a symbol that describes the attempt to destroy the pyramid.
In the year 1196 AD, the Sultan of Egypt ordered the destruction of the popular pyramid of the country. However, the workers were only able to take out two stones a day, and after just eight months of work, the project to destroy it was abandoned.
As we already told you, every tour to Egypt includes a visit to the pyramids at Giza. They also provide a short stand-alone tour of the Giza pyramid that contains private transport as well as the service of an expert guide.
Like other pyramids in Giza, if you wish to go inside the pyramid, you have to buy a ticket at the site.
1.4 Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser
The Djoser Pyramid is also called the Step Pyramid. It is a pyramid of ancient Egypt situated at the ancient Saqqara necropolis. It is located exactly 30 kilometres away from Cairo.
The pyramid was built in the 27th century BC. It provides service to the Djoser pharaoh as a burial tomb. This is a third-dynasty pharaoh of Egyptian.
The step pyramid of Djoser was the first ever pyramid built by the ancient Egyptians. It is also the first notable stone structure built in the country.
This is a very beautiful 6-tier, 4-sided pyramid. The height of this pyramid is 62.5 meters. The pyramid was reopened in March 2020 after 14 years of repair projects.
Most of the step pyramid complex is situated below the surface. On the below surface, you will find a grand gallery and tunnelled chambers covering an area of almost 6 kilometres.
The whole pyramid complex covers an area of nearly 37 lands. After the reconstruction of the Djoser pyramid complex was completed, the size of it is 2.5 times bigger than the ancient Old Kingdom town at Hierakonpolis.
But one thing has always happened to the pyramids of Egypt: they got looted and robbed. However, archaeologists did get some ancient aircraft, including more than 40,000 stone vessels.
Many vessels among them pre-dated the pharaoh’s reign. The tour packages of Egypt that have a trip to the Step Pyramid of Djoser usually also contain a trip to the ruins of Memphis.
The ruins of Memphis provide the capital of the Old Kingdom.
1.5 The Bent Pyramid
Bent pyramid is situated in the royal ancient Dashur necropolis in the desert on the western bank of the River Nile. The pyramid is situated about 40 km away from the south side of present-day Cairo.
The Bent Pyramid was built in 2600 BC by the order of Sneferu. It is also a fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh.
The bent pyramid was the second pyramid that was built by Pharaoh Senferu. In this pyramid, you will see the transition from stepped pyramids to smooth-sided pyramids.
The lower portion of the pyramid was built with 54 degrees of inclination. However, the upper portion of the pyramid was built with just 43– degrees of inclination.
Due to this structure, the pyramid has a unique bent look. Another reason why the Bent pyramid is special compared to other pyramids of Egypt is that the outer limestone casing of the pyramid is still intact.
However, the Bent Pyramid and some other pyramids of Dashur might not be included in the tour packages. In July 2019, the Bent Pyramid was opened officially for visitors after being closed for a long time since 1965.
1.6 The Red Pyramid
Another well-known pyramid of Egypt is the Red Pyramid. The pyramid is situated at the ancient necropolis of Dashur. It is very close to the Bent Pyramid.
Another name for the Red Pyramid is the North Pyramid. Red was also built between 2575 and 2551 BC at the time of pharaoh Senefru. After the Bent Pyramid, it is the third pyramid built by the pharaoh of Senefru.
It is also claimed to be the most successfully completed pyramid built by pharaoh Senefru, along with a smooth side.
The Dashur Necropolis is the largest pyramid and the third largest pyramid after the Khufu Pyramid of Egypt, as well as the Khafre Pyramid at Giza.
It is the best-preserved pyramid in the country. Like the other pyramids of Egypt, it also provides the service to pharaoh Senefru as the burial tomb.
The red pyramid had a very shiny look due to its polished limestone outer casing. Unluckily, the casing of limestone was removed during the Middle Ages period.
Later, that limestone was used to construct the buildings of Cairo. Therefore, if you go for a visit to Egypt, then you must go to this beautiful pyramid.
2. Other Popular Pyramids of Cairo
Besides these top 6 pyramids of Egypt, you can also visit some other popular pyramids of Cairo.
2.1 Meidum Pyramid
This Egyptian pyramid is situated exactly 100 kilometres south of present-day Cairo. According to archaeologists, this is the second pyramid built after the Step Pyramid of Djoser.
The reports also suggest that it was the first try to build a smooth or flat-sided pyramid. Archaeologists also believe that the construction of the Meidum Pyramid started during the Huni period.
Huni was the last phase of the third dynasty of pharaohs. However, the construction didn’t stop even after the death of Huni, and it was completed under the Senenfru pharaoh.
This popular pyramid of the country was actually built in the form of a stepped pyramid. However, during the building of the pyramid, at some point, they changed their decision and filled the steep sides to make it a smooth-sided outer casing.
However, even before the completion of construction was finished, the outer walls were broken down. At that time, the construction was abandoned.
Many visitors who visit the Meidum Pyramid while staying in Cairo also visit some other places as well like the Cairo Citadel as well as the 14th-century Kahn el Khalili Bazaar.
2.2 Pyramid of Unas
The pyramid of Unas is also a good place to visit during your trip to Egypt. It was built in the 24th Century in Plateau. It serves as a burial tomb for Pharaoh Unas.
The height of this pyramid was 43 meters when it was created, but now it is in ruins. The structure of this pyramid is very significant.
This pyramid is the first to represent the hymns carved on the walls. Later, in the 19th century, the pyramid was rediscovered. During that time, a mummy was also recovered from the ruins.
2.3 Pyramid of Sahure
This is a very beautiful pyramid situated in the Abusir area, which is close to the temple of The Sun. Like Unas, this pyramid also lies in ruins.
Archaeologists have found some interesting artifacts that attract visitors to the Pyramid of Sahure. The blocks that were used to build this pyramid were different from the quality used in the 5th dynasty.
Here, the archaeologists also found pink granite under the ruins that led them to a small entrance. The open courtyard of the Mortuary temple towards the eastern side of the pyramid consists of 16 monolithic pink granite columns.
The shape of the pink granite is like a palm grove. The pyramid is situated just half an hour’s distance from Cairo.
2.4 Pyramid of Ahmose
The Ahmose Pyramid is the only known pyramid in Egypt. This pyramid serves as a burial tomb for the Ahmose pharaoh.
However, the pyramid collapsed because it was built with bricks of mud instead of stone blocks. It was built in the 18th century.
After the 12th dynasty, Pharaohs were hidden in underground tombs such as the Valley of the Kings. It is situated in Abydos.
3. Some Unknown Facts About The Egyptian Pyramids
The pyramids of Egypt served as the burial tombs of the pharaohs. Their personal belongings, as well as the essentials for their afterlife, were put down near their tombs.
As per Egyptian mythology, the north-face pyramids as well as the associated Mortuary Temples were built.
The shapes of the pyramids denote the sun’s rays, while the steps with the dead ascending denote the life after death. Benben is represented through the pyramids of Egypt.
According to their mythology, Benben means a mound of earth that rose from primordial water upon which God himself stood up and created humans on earth.
At the End of the Road
Egypt is a country of pyramids. Here, you will see various pyramid shapes that represent something. The pyramids were built to serve as burial tombs for the different pharaohs of the country.
By visiting this pyramid, you will come to know about the history of Egyptians. The pyramid shapes and the facing side also represent the mythology of the country.