Giza is located just outside and adjacent Cairo city and within view of several major tourist hotels. The area includes several of the greatest monuments of Pharoanic Egypt, including The Great Pyramid of Giza and The Sphinx.
The Great Pyramid — also known as the Pyramid of Cheops — was built around 2560 BC and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is believed that it took twenty years to build, after which it became the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. The structure was a tomb for both a King and Queen, as well as the royal household’s other wives and nobles. When new it was probably near 500 feet high, weighed more than 6 tons and consisted of more than 2.3 million limestone blocks.
The Sphinx of Giza is a zoomorphic mythological figure depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head presumed to be that of the pharoah Khafra of the 18th dynasty. The figure is associated with the solar deity Sekhmet. There were many smaller sphinxes found across ancient Egypt, some with falcon heads instead of human heads, and many of these appeared more than a thousand years earlier. Sphinxes were usually considered temple guardians, often seen in pairs at the tops of the steps to a temple, but the great Sphinx of Giza stands majestically as its own unique monument. Subsequent to the end of the great Egyptian dynasties, sphinxes reemerged in cultures from Greece to southeast Asia, and even in the pop cultures of 19th Century Europe, symbolizing a wide and varied range of cultural phenomenon.