Egypt never fails to astonish with its stunning and colossal monuments and the heat, light and sight of the desert invigorate. There is no place that can match the magic, mystery and pleasures of Egypt. Egypt may be undergoing a post-uprising slump but the country still reigns as one of the greatest destinations to discover ancient civilization, explore the magnificent temples and historic sites.
These timeless and majestic structures awe us with their beauty. They have outlived many kingdoms and provide the contemporary citizens a passageway into the history which is as colossal as the landscape from which they rose.
Following are some of the popular sight-seeing spots among the tourists:
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Pyramids of Giza
The visit to Egypt would be incomplete without visiting the Giza plateau which is a sight to behold. Situated just outside of Cairo, The Giza Necropolis is home to the Great Pyramid of Giza also known as the Pyramid of Khufu which is the oldest and largest of the pyramids. For thousands of years it was the tallest man-made structure on the planet. Two other pyramids dedicated to Khafre and Menkaure also loom large on the majestic plateau. To the east of the Great Pyramids there are piles of rubble which once were the Queens’ Pyramids in honor of Khufu’s wives and sisters.
The Great Sphinx
Situated to the south of the great pyramid is the great sphinx which has been a monumental symbol of Egypt for ages. It is the world’s largest monolithic statue and holds a vigil over the ancient plateau. It’s a mythical beast with a human head and lion’s body made of limestone and sits couchant forever. In Arabic it’s called Abū al Hūl which translates to ‘Father of Terror’.
The Valley of Kings
Located near the west bank of Luxor, the valley of kings gives an eerie feel where the ancient Egyptians preserved the bodies of their Pharoahs in spectacular tombs for almost 500 years. The tombs of Tutankhamen and Ramses IV were discovered here in 1922 almost intact.
Ramses II during his rule as the Pharaoh of Egypt in the 13th century oversaw the construction of the two spectacular rock temples which are situated near Lake Nasser. They are counted among the world’s priceless treasures. the larger temple is dedicated to Ramses II and features four amazing statues of the Pharaoh standing at 67ft high with heads about 4 meters wide. The smaller temple is dedicated to ‘Hathor’ the goddess of love and beauty in honor of his favorite wife Nefertari and features a facade wherein Ramses II and Nefertari are shown as acquiring divine attributes. In 1960’s after the construction of Aswan High Dam, the water from Lake Nasser threatened to flood the temples and consequently a successful campaign by the Egyptian Government and UNESCO was undertaken to move them to their current location. Later the surrounding area of the Abu Simbel Temples and the Sanctuary of Isis as Philae was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and referred to as the Nubian Monuments.