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Pirámide de Keops

Pirámide de Keops

Pirámide de Keops

Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops)( Giza Necropolis, Nazlet El-Semman, Al Haram, Giza Plateau, Cairo) — Soaring at nearly 147 meters (482 feet), the massive granite Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), is the largest and the most enigmatic in Egypt. The smooth Tura limestone that once encased the granite structure is no longer intact, and the pyramidion (capstone) is long gone. A separate ticket is required to enter the Pyramid, and since the authorities have limited visitors to 300 a day, it is advisable to arrive at the nearby ticket-kiosk early in the morning.

From the entrance, the descending passage takes you down to the Subterranean Chamber, currently closed, while the ascending passage takes you up to the so-called Queen’s Chamber, which is not, by the way, a burial chamber. Continuing the ascent, the spacious Grand Gallery, with its high corbelled ceiling, brings you to the King’s Chamber, where the granite sarcophagus of King Khufu lies empty. Unlike other Pyramids, the King’s burial chamber is above ground. Two small openings can be seen in both the King’s and Queen’s chambers – these are the controversial “air shafts,” which have spawned all sorts of interesting theories. That eerie hum you might hear inside is not spiritual energy channeling through the structure, but a ventilation system that was installed several years ago.

The interior of the Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren) is currently closed for restoration, but the complex is visible. Some of the limestone casing near the top still remains, giving the pyramid an interesting profile. The ruins of the eastern mortuary temple are still standing, and the causeway (in ancient times a covered passageway) takes you to the remains of the valley temple, where the mummification ritual would have taken place.

Outside the Pyramid, to the east, you will find the black basalt pavement where the mortuary temple once stood, and a causeway which in ancient times would have led to the valley temple. Three small Queen’s Pyramids also stand on this side, near the Solar Boat Museum (admission EGP10). This museum has an exhibit of a wooden boat that was excavated and subsequently reconstructed by Ahmed Youssef. The boat, from one of five boat pits surrounding the Pyramid, symbolically offered passage for the king into the afterlife.