The Great Pyramid of Giza is a defining symbol of Egypt and the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. It is located on the Giza plateau near the modern city of Cairo and was built over a twenty-year period during the reign of the king Khufu (2589-2566 BCE, also known as Cheops) of the 4th Dynasty. The pyramid rises to a height of 479 feet (146 metres) with a base of 754 feet (230 metres) and is comprised of over two million blocks of stone. Some of these stones are of such immense size and weight that the logistics of raising and positioning them so precisely seems an impossibility by modern standards.
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the head of a human, and the body of a lion. Facing directly from west to east, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx appears to represent the pharaoh Khafre.
Luxor Temple was the largest and most significant religious center in ancient Egypt. In what was then Thebes, Luxor Temple was “the place of the First Occasion,” where the god Amon experienced rebirth during the pharaoh’s annually reenacted coronation ceremony. Today, remains of this vast complex include the colossal Great Colonnade Hall, almost 61 meters long, with 28 twenty-one-foot-high columns, its decoration largely undertaken by Tutankhamun around 1330 B.C.
Across the Nile from Luxor, the Theban Necropolis testifies to the same obsession with death and resurrection that produced the Pyramids. Mindful of how these had failed to protect the mummies of the Old Kingdom pharaohs, later rulers opted for concealment, sinking their tombs in the arid Theban Hills while perpetuating their memory with gigantic mortuary temples on the plain below.
Valley of the Kings
The ancient Egyptians built massive public monuments to their pharaohs. But they also spent time and treasure creating hidden underground mausoleums. The most famed collection of such elaborate tombs—the Valley of the Kings—lies on the Nile’s west bank near Luxor. During Egypt’s New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), the valley became a royal burial ground for pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II, as well as queens, high priests, and other elites of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties.
Abu Simbel Temples
Abu Simbel is an ancient temple complex, originally cut into a solid rock cliff, in southern Egypt and located at the second cataract of the Nile River. The two temples which comprise the site were created during the reign of Ramesses II (c. 1279 – c. 1213 BCE) either between 1264 – 1244 BCE or 1244-1224 BCE.
The Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan is a monumental mosque and madrasa located in Salah al-Din Square in the historic district of Cairo, Egypt. It was built between 1356 and 1363 during the Bahri Mamluk period, commissioned by Sultan an-Nasir Hasan.