Of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, only the Pyramids of Giza have withstood the ravages of time. “From the summit of these monuments, forty centuries look upon you”, cried Napoleon. Resembling small triangles from afar and corrugated mountains as you approach, their gigantic mass can seem oddly two-dimensional when viewed from below. Far from being isolated in the desert as carefully angled photos suggest, they rise just beyond the outskirts of Giza City. During daytime, the tourist hordes dispel the mystique (though the site is big enough to escape them), but at sunset, dawn and late at night their brooding majesty returns.

The Pyramids’ orientation is no accident. Their entrances are aligned with the Pole Star (or rather, its position 4500 years ago); the internal tomb chambers face west, the direction of the Land of the Dead; and the external funerary temples point eastwards towards the rising sun. Less well preserved are the causeways leading to the so-called valley temples, and various subsidiary pyramids and mastaba tombs.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Egypt features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
12 captivating pictures of Egypt

12 captivating pictures of Egypt

Rough Guides author and photographer Anthon Jackson has travelled to over eighty countries, from Morocco to Indonesia and Ethiopia to India, capturing many of h…

16 Mar 2015 • Anthon Jackson insert_drive_file Article
Video: things not to miss in Egypt

Video: things not to miss in Egypt

The oldest tourist destination on Earth, Egypt has a multitude of things to see and do. There are ancient pyramids, crumbling temples and vast deserts to explor…

13 Jan 2015 • Site Editor videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month