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.
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.
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.