Giza is the third largest city in Egypt. It is located on the west bank of the Nile, some 20 km (12.43 mi) southwest of central Cairo. Along with Shubra El-Kheima, Cairo and Helwan, the four cities form the Province of Greater Cairo metropolis. The city of Giza is the capital of the Giza Governorate, and is located near the northeast border of this governorate in coordinates. It is located right on the banks of the River Nile. The city's population was 2,681,863 in the 2006 national census, while the governorate had 6,272,571 at the same census. Its large population made it the world's second largest suburb in 2006, tied with Incheon, South Korea and Quezon City, Philippines, second only to Yokohama, Japan.
"Mn Nefer" - which means "the beautiful wall" in the ancient Egyptian language -, the capital city of the first unified Egyptian state since the days of Pharaoh King Narmer, lies nearly 20 km (12.43 mi) south of Giza. Giza's most famous archaeological site, the Giza Plateau, holds some of the most astonishing monuments in Egyptian history. Once thriving with the Nile that flowed right into the Giza Plateau, the pyramids of Giza were built overlooking the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis, which was near modern day Cairo.
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The Giza Plateau is also home to many other ancient Egyptian monuments, including the tomb of Pharaoh Djet of the First Dynasty, as well as that of Pharaoh Ninetjer of the Second Dynasty.
Transportation in Giza comprises an extensive road network, rail system, subway system, and maritime services. Road transport is facilitated by personal vehicles, taxi cabs, privately owned public buses, and microbuses.
Giza shares with Cairo a subway system, officially called the "Metro", a fast and efficient way of getting around. An extensive road network connects Giza with 6th of October City, Cairo and other cities. There are flyovers and bridges such as the 15th of May bridge. Giza traffic is known to be overwhelming and overcrowded.
Places to visit
Pyramid of Cheops
Unrivalled architectural masterpiece, technical feat, seventh wonder of the world, oldest pyramid
there is no shortage of superlatives for the Great Pyramid of Cheops. It was also the highest (today 138m) and had the greatest volume (2 521 000m3) to make the mortal remains of Cheops inviolable. Try and picture it bright white as it used to be because of its limestone covering. Portcullises obstructing the corridors protected the burial chambers. One of these gave access to the Grand Gallery. Bear in mind that there are only 300 tickets on sale each day!
The eternal symbol of Egypt, the enigmatic Sphinx of Giza, has made an impression across the ages. This monumental creature (20m high and 57m long), symbol of the Pharaoh's power, with a lion's body and human face, was most probably fashioned by Chepren, hence being linked to his pyramid. Contrary to legend, it lost its polychromy and its nose well before Napoleon arrived in Egypt.
Pyramid of Chephren
Chephren, son of Cheops, decided to install his tomb south of his father's, thus taking his place in the family line. Construction techniques had been perfected, and Chephren's pyramid was erected more quickly. Although not as tall, it looks slimmer than its neighbour as its incline is two degrees greater. The pyramids of Chephren and Cheops represent the apogee of the monumental gigantism of the Egyptian pyramids. It is also worth visiting the surrounding vestiges (and in particular its partly preserved causeway) as, like every pyramid, Chephren was part of a vast funerary complex.
According to the Egyptians, the solar god Re had two golden barks in which he navigated the skies. By offering these solar barks, they associated the Pharaoh's last journey with Re's daily movements. Cheops's solar bark is one of two models unearthed in a pit near the Pyramid of Cheops in 1954 by the Egyptian architect Kamal el-Malakh, who spent 10 years of his life piecing together the 1 224 parts of the puzzle.
Pyramid of Mykerinos :
Standing to the south of the plateau, Mykerinos is the smallest of the Giza pyramids (66m high and 108m wide), despite being built with larger freestones. It has a particularly complex system of funerary chambers. Like its neighbours, with its temples, road and three small satellite pyramids, Mykerinos was a funerary complex.