Menshat Dahshur, Egypt
The Bent Pyramid was the first true pyramid instead of a step pyramid. Halfway through the building process, the engineers changed the angle of the walls, giving it its unique shape. The pyramid is 344 ft tall. Like many of the pyramids, there is an additional charge to use a camera or video camera.
This synagogue was built in 1905, but is rarely used now because of how few Jews live in the city. Be very polite and have a passport ready when you arrive, security here is very high and security will not hesitate to refuse entrance if they feel you may be a threat. The inside is beautiful and worth the hassle, and it has fantastic decorations.
al-Qala’a, Shar’a Salih Salem
The Citadel is a collection of historical buildings and mosque’s that are a fascinating trip through Egyptian history. A string of rulers built and modified military and religious structures on the hill overlooking the city, leading to a mini-architectural lesson on one site. The most famous is the Muhammad ‘Ali Mosque, which is the de facto symbol of the city. The complex also has a museum and gallery.
The Great Sphinx, half lion and half man, guards the north end of Khafre’s Pyramid complex. Time has worn down much of the limestone that makes up the Sphinx, but it’s still a fantastic sight. The Sphinx is thought to have originally been a carving of Khafre as the Sun god.
Shar’a Mari Girgis
The Hanging Church was originally built in the 9th Century and has undergone several revisions since. It is beautiful and ornate, with paintings and stone carvings decorating the sanctuary.
This is the second tallest pyramid at Giza, 470 ft tall. It actually looks like it’s the tallest, but that’s a trick of the sloping landscape. The pyramid still has some of the fine limestone on the outside, and inside is a granite sarcophagus inside the underground burial chamber.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the biggest and the best of all of the pyramids. It’s the oldest pyramid at Giza, and towers 478 ft tall. The Great Pyramid is a little more expensive than the others, plus there’s a boat museum that has the boat possibly used to bring the Pharaoh from the capital to the burial site. It’s the only remaining of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan
Maydan Salah al-Din
This is one of the largest Islamic buildings in the world, and it may be partially made of stone taken from the Giza pyramids. It houses four madrasas, which are Islamic religious schools, along with a mausoleum that is absolutely beautiful.
Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Shar’a Tulun Bay
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is more than 1100 years old and is the oldest surviving mosque in the city. It was originally made so that an entire army could pray here at once. The architecture is beautiful, and the courtyard is very relaxing. It’s free to come here, and it’s a nice getaway.
Tomb of the Hairdressers
It’s also known as the Tomb of the Two Brothers, and it’s much more brightly colored compared to other Egyptian tombs. The two brothers buried here were the pharaoh’s servants. There are ornate carvings and decorations throughout the tomb.
Menshat Dahshur, Egypt
The Red Pyramid was built by Sneferu, Khufu’s father, and was his second pyramid. The pyramid is named after the reddish limestone it’s built out of. Travelers from the 1800s left plenty of graffiti behind, and reading what they’ve carved in the ancient stone is interesting in it’s own right.
This pyramid was built by the architect Imhotep, who was deified for his work on the structure. It’s very different from the more modern pyramids at Giza. Tourists have been coming here for millennia, as the graffiti attests.