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Best Places to Visit in Egypt


Pyramids of Giza

Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the amazing Pyramids at Giza are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction. Known as Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, the pyramids were already more than 2,000 years old when Herodotus the Greek historian visited them (5th century BC). A highly skilled corps of mathematicians, masons, surveyors and stonecutters did the job of building the Pyramids. 100,000 slaves were used to carry out the backbreaking task of moving and laying the stones of the largest pyramid-Cheops. About 2.5 million limestone blocks, quarried locally and weighing in excess of 6 million tonnes, were used in the construction of Cheops.

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To date 138 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt. Most were built as tombs for the country’s Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. All Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile, which as the site of the setting sun was associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology. The Pyramids contain a maze of passage ways, designed to protect the Mummies of the Pharaohs and the treasure which they would take to the afterlife.

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Karnak & Luxor Temples

Second in popularity only to the iconic pyramids, the temples of Karnak and Luxor are some of the most striking relics of ancient history in the world. The Karnak complex is made up of four distinct sections, of which only the Amun-Re precinct is open to the public. The Amun-Re part of the complex consists of numerous, intricate temples, columns and an obelisk. The Luxor temples, which were built around 1,400 BC are equally, if not more, magnificent and overall form an exceptionally significant part of Egypt’s history as they were the site where many of the country’s kings were crowned. The site contains a plethora of sandstone structures, ranging from statues of gods and pharaohs to impressive murals and friezes. It goes without saying that no trip to Egypt is complete without exploring the ancient grounds on which these temples sit.

King Tut Exhibit, Egyptian Museum
Discovered intact in 1922 by Howard Carter, the Tomb of Tutankhamun is possibly one of the most dazzling archaeological finds ever. Tutankhamen lived over 3,300 years ago during the New Kingdom period. For two centuries, Egypt had ruled as a world superpower, while its royal family lived an opulent lifestyle. The powerful priesthood of the god Amun had controlled vast temples and estates. Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) -Tutankhamun’s father renounced the multitude of gods worshipped by the Egyptians, abolished the priesthood and established a new order to worship the sun god Aten and changed his own name to Akhenaten, meaning ‘servant of the Aten.’
Upon the death of Akhenaten, Tutankhaten (Tutankhamun) became king at the age of 9yrs. He ruled for a very short time and died in 1325 BC of somewhat mysterious causes. After 70 days, King Tut’s mortuary tomb was sealed and remained untouched until Carter’s astonishing find. King Tutankhamen’s solid gold funerary mask and his priceless cache of treasures entombed with him for his journey to the afterlife, are now on display at the world famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo and a visit is highly recommended.

Abydos
Situated in northern Upper Egypt, Abydos is one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt and by far the most important as far as archaeology is concerned. In ancient years it snowballed in popularity as the place for pharaohs to be buried, a fact which led to it becoming a cult centre for the god Osiris. The focal point of the site is the impressive Temple of Seti, which contains a list of the majority of Egypt’s pharaohs from Menes right up until Ramesses I. Every glance and turn you take within this mysterious complex reveals something incredible, whether it’s the immense courtyards or the intriguing wall art. One part of the Abydos site that has been baffling historians and travellers alike for years is a curious set of hieroglyphics that appears to depict helicopters, submarines and planes. Take a look for yourself and see what you think.
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