Egypt has been the topic of many films, novels, and songs over the years. In fact, some of the most famous landmarks in Egypt are so well known that they have become synonymous with the country itself.
The Great Pyramids of Giza, for example, are one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Here are some of the historical locations in this land that once held a great empire.
Famous Landmarks in Egypt
1. The Egyptian Museum
If you go to Cairo, the Egyptian Museum should be at the top of your list of places to visit.
It is home to over 120,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt, with many of them dating back over 5,000 years. The museum is so large that it would be impossible to see everything in one day.
Some of the most famous items on display include the statue of Pharaoh Akhenaten, the mummies of Ramses II and his queen, and the gold death mask of Tutankhamun.
The museum has as many as 25 galleries, so there is something for everyone to see.
2. Abu Simbel Temples
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock-cut temples in southern Egypt. They were built by Pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BCE to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.
The temples were carved into a mountainside and adorned with large statues of Ramses II. One temple is dedicated to his wife, Nefertari, and the other is dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah.
Also Read: Famous Buildings in Egypt
The temples were relocated in the 1960s to save them from being submerged by the Aswan High Dam. Today, they are a popular tourist destination and a must-see for anyone interested in Egyptian history.
You may step inside the temples where you will see hieroglyphs and statues of the gods.
If you are visiting from Cairo, the journey to Abu Simbel will take about 3 hours by car or bus.
3. Great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a massive limestone statue of a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. It is one of the oldest and most famous landmarks in Egypt.
The Sphinx is believed to have been built by Pharaoh Khafre in the 25th century BCE. It is the largest monolithic statue in the world, measuring 73 meters (240 feet) long and 20 meters (66 feet) high.
It is hard not to notice the Sphinx has a missing nose. Legend has it that the Sphinx was vandalized by a Sufi monk in the 13th century CE. Another theory says that Napoleon’s troops used the Sphinx for target practice in the late 18th century.
Regardless of how it happened, the Sphinx is still an impressive sight and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt.
The Sphinx is located in the Giza Necropolis, which also includes the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of Khafre.
Today, the Sphinx is a popular tourist destination and one of the most recognizable symbols of Egypt. You may walk around the Sphinx and take photos, but you are not allowed to climb on it.
4. Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where, for centuries, Pharaohs and their families were buried in grand tombs.
It is located west of the Nile River, near the city of Luxor. The valley was used as a burial ground from the 16th to 11th centuries BCE.
Over 60 tombs have been unearthed in the Valley of the Kings, but the most famous is certainly the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The tomb was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter and caused a sensation around the world. Today, the tomb is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Egypt.
The Valley of the Kings has been featured in many films and documentaries over the years. The best way to visit the valley is with a tour group, as there is a lot of ground to cover and the heat can be overwhelming.
Karnak Temple is a temple complex in Luxor, Egypt. It is one of the largest ancient religious sites in the world, covering an area of 100 acres (40 hectares). The temple was built over a period of more than 1,500 years, from the 20th century BCE to the 4th century CE.
This complex is made up of several temples, chapels, pylons, and obelisks. The most famous feature is the Great Hypostyle Hall, a forest of 134 columns that is over 50 meters (164 feet) high.
You may walk around the temple complex and marvel at the scale and grandeur of the site. Every year, the site sees as many as 3 million visitors.
6. Giza Necropolis
The Giza Necropolis is a burial ground in Egypt that includes the world-famous Great Pyramid of Giza. It is located on the Giza Plateau, west of the Nile River.
The necropolis was used as a burial ground from the 26th century BCE to the 16th century CE. If you come to Cairo, you absolutely must see the Giza Necropolis.
The area contains some of the most famous landmarks in Egypt, including the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure. The Great Pyramid is the largest and oldest of the three pyramids, and it is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still standing.
You may enter all three pyramids, but you are not allowed to climb the outside of them. The best time to visit the Giza Necropolis is early in the morning, before it gets too hot and crowded.
7. Luxor Temple
Luxor Temple is a temple complex in the city of Luxor, Egypt. It was built in the 14th century BCE and was used as a burial ground for Pharaohs. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Egypt.
The temple is made up of several courtyards, halls, and chambers. The most famous feature is the Avenue of the Sphinxes, a path lined with over 1,000 statues of sphinxes.
You may walk around the temple complex and take photos, but you are not allowed to enter any of the buildings.
8. Khan el-Khalili
Khan el-Khalili is a market in Cairo, Egypt. It is one of the oldest and largest markets in the city, dating back to the 14th century. The market is located in the Islamic district of Cairo and is a great place to find souvenirs and gifts.
There are over 3,000 shops in the market, selling everything from spices to jewelry to carpets. Never take the first price the shopkeepers offer – make sure you bargain with them! Prepare to take up a good part of your day at the market if you want to get around to see all your options.
The best time to visit the market is early in the morning, before it gets too crowded.
9. Pyramid of Djoser
The Pyramid of Djoser is a step pyramid in Saqqara, Egypt. It was built in the 27th century BCE and is the oldest surviving pyramid in Egypt. The pyramid was designed by Imhotep, the first architect in history whose name is known to us.
In addition to being the first monumental structure made of stone, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It features 6 tiers and 4 sides.
The pyramid was the vision of King Djoser who reigned in the 3rd dynasty of the Old Kingdom.
10. Saqqara Necropolis
The Saqqara Necropolis is a burial ground in Saqqara, Egypt. It contains the Pyramid of Djoser, as well as several other pyramids and tombs. 16 other kings built pyramids there. The necropolis was used as a burial ground from the 26th century BCE to the 6th century CE.
The initial burials here go back to the second dynasty. In 2011, protests against the government’s policies were held in front of the site. The necropolis has since been reopened to tourists.
In conclusion, Egypt is a country with a long and rich history. From the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Luxor Temple, and the Khan el-Khalili market, you won’t be at a loss for things to do.
While the empires may have collapsed, their legacies live on thanks to revolutionary structures like the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When visitors come to Egypt, they can take pleasure in being surrounded by remarkable history.