Hieroglyphs etched into ancient stone, murals depicting the early rule of pharaohs and monuments whose construction continues to elude us– Egypt is a destination that enchants and bewilders. Experience captivating history in Egypt and visit breathtaking wonders that date back almost 30 centuries. This week, we introduce you to the most stunning and historical Egyptian sites. Read on to start sparking inspiration for your next adventure…
Pyramids and Sphinx
When you think of Egypt, we’re betting the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx come to mind. With the Pyramids around 4,500 years old, a visit to this complex really is a journey back in time! Each pyramid is dedicated to an individual pharaoh, with the first being built by Pharaoh Khufu. This pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Giza, was built around 2550 BCE. Furthermore, how the pyramids were constructed is not fully known. The Great Pyramid consisted of an estimated 2.3 million stones, with each block weighing between 2.5 to 15 tonnes; it truly is a mystery how this great structure was constructed.
Built as part of the second pyramid complex is the limestone Sphinx. With the head of a man and the body of a lion, it is thought that this structure was built to safeguard Pharaoh Khafre’s tomb. 73 metres long and 20 metres high, the Sphinx is truly incredible.
Situated on the bank of the Nile, the Luxor Temple is a captivating sandstone structure and also one of the most celebrated sites in Egypt. Built by several pharaohs mostly between the years of 1390 and 1213 BCE, this complex of temples and shrines is truly breathtaking. Walk through the Great Colonnade Hall, stretching for 61 metres and be overshadowed by the colossal 6 metre high columns. An experience not to miss, the Luxor Temple truly is a must see…
Valley of the Kings
Designated as a sacred burial site for the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (reigning from 1539–1075 BCE), the Valley of the Kings was the resting place of over 500 years of pharaohs. After fearing for the safety of their burial sites and the riches they contained, tombs begun being dug in the hills of Dayr al-Bahri. Beneath the grounds of this site lay more than 60 tombs cut from the rock, underground chambers, wall paintings and hieroglyphs. The valley is also home to numerous pharaohs such as Thutmose I, Ramesses X and the many sons of Ramses II.
Originally carved from a sandstone cliff and built by Ramses II in 13th century BCE, Abu Simbel is an astounding structure. When the nearby waters of the Nile began to rise and threatened the temple, Aswan in Southern Egypt became the new home of Abu Simbel. Situated in front of the main temple are four colossal and impressive statues of the pharaoh Ramses. At the feet of the statues of Ramses are also smaller statues of his family. Enter the temple and prepare yourself! Dedicated to the sun gods, walk through chambers adorned with statues, as well as paintings depicting the king himself.
Housing the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts in the world, the Egyptian Museum is an absolute must see. Observe some of the greatest treasures in the world and witness evidence of ancient times. Over 100 years old, the building houses relics such as the tomb of Tutankhamun, stunning jewellery, clothing, statues and artwork. Furthermore, there is also a Royal Mummies exhibit displaying the mummies of adults, children, babies and animals.
Modelled after the temple of Mentuhotep II, the Temple of Hatshepsut was constructed to immortalise and elevate the public image of the female pharaoh. Nestled in the shadow of commanding limestone cliffs, the temple is a truly captivating sight. Commissioned after she came to power in 1479 BCE, construction took 15 years. Once, the temple featured reflecting pools, a complex network of alleys and archways and many statues, sphinxes and murals. Today, the painstakingly restored site is a truly breathtaking journey back in time.
The Karnak Temple took several centuries to build. The largest religious building in the world, many pharaohs have also added to it and worshipped there over many years. Some have suggested the site dates back to 3400 BCE. Finally, covering 200 acres, this temple allows you to enter an ancient world dedicated to the Egyptian gods Amun, Mut and Khonsu.
Temple of Horus (Edfu)
Built between 237 and 57 BCE, the Temple of Horus is the cult centre of the falcon god Horus. As you enter, two huge granite pylons guard the temple. Furthermore, witness incredible etchings of Horus on the pylons depicted as a falcon and various war scenes. Inside, also explore many temples, chambers and corridors etched with hieroglyphs and displaying artefacts.