Egypt is one of the oldest documented countries in the world, which means it’s full of fascinating Egyptian monuments and Egyptian landmarks. The food in Egypt also draws from a long history of culture. This exciting country is one of the most interesting places to visit if you’re a history lover and want to explore the many unique buildings of Egypt.
Egyptian Monuments Of Pharaohs
The Great Pyramids of Giza
The most famous monuments in Egypt are, of course, the ancient pyramids. 38 pyramids have been identified in Egypt, as well as a further 80 in Sudan, which was once part of the country.
The pyramids are giant burial chambers built from limestone, some over 100 meters tall. Some of the pyramids have been destroyed by the harsh desert conditions, but there are many which have successfully preserved mummies and artifacts for thousands of years.
The biggest and most famous pyramids can be found in the city of Giza. The biggest is The Great Pyramid, which is 138.5 meters tall. The pyramids are easily accessible from the city and well worth a visit, you need to see them in person to truly appreciate these magnificent structures.
The Valley of the Kings
One of Luxor’s most famous Egyptian monuments is the Valley of the Kings, to the West of the Nile. During the New Kingdom from 1550 – 1069 BC, pharaohs were buried in the valley, at the foot of the Al Qurn mountain. There are currently 63 tombs and burial chambers at the Valley of the Kings.
Sadly, the site has been looted and battered by the weather over the centuries. Yet, it’s open to the public and the tourist center makes an interesting visit to learn more about Egypt’s ancient rulers.
The wives of the pharaohs were buried separately, in the Valley of the Queens. Both valleys are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Pharaohs were monarchs in Ancient Egypt – they owned the land, created laws, and oversaw religion. The most famous Pharaoh of Egypt was Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut. Tutankhamun ruled from 1332 until 1323 BC, despite being a child.
Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter in 1922. The tomb was almost fully intact and included many of King Tut’s personal treasures. His jewelry, furniture, and clothing are available to view in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
However, King Tut’s tomb remains in its original place and is open to the public. The Pharaoh’s mummy is still there to see over 3,000 years after he was buried, making it one of the most famous Egyptian monuments.
The Great Sphinx
Another one of the unique symbols and things that Egypt is famous for is The Great Sphinx.
It is an iconic Egyptian monument and is instantly recognizable around the world. The Sphinx can be found in Giza, close to the Great Pyramid. This ancient statue dates to approximately 2558-2532 BC.
The vast limestone stature has the body of a lion and the head of a human, its face represents Khafre, a Pharoah of the 4th Dynasty. Sadly, its nose was broken off and stolen thousands of years ago. The sphinx faces exactly East and is 20 meters tall and 73 meters long.
Buildings Of Egypt: Temples
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
This holy temple near Luxor city was built for the Pharaoh Hatshepsut during the 18th Dynasty. It’s one of the most recognizable buildings of Egypt because of its three large terraces with vast columns which are built into the cliffs of Deir el-Bahari.
The limestone and granite temple has been well-preserved for thousands of years. It is 273.5 meters long and 24.5 meters tall.
The temple has several areas of interest to visit, including the Main Sanctuary of Amen-Re, shrines to Anubis and Hathor, and a 0.62-kilometer causeway that leads to the valley temple. Hatshepsut died in 1458 BC, and her tomb is nearby inside the El Qurn pyramid.
The Karnak Temple Complex
The impressive ancient village of Karnak dates to the New Kingdom era of Egypt. The temple complex consists of the remains of many ancient temples, chapels, and buildings of Egypt, and was once a significant place of worship.
Karnak is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and visiting feels like you’re stepping back in time. The Karnak Open Air Museum displays reconstructions showing what the original buildings of Egypt would’ve looked like in their former glory.
After the ancient Pyramids of Giza, the buildings at the Karnak Temple Complex are the second most visited monuments in Egypt. The modern town of El-Karnak sits 2.5 kilometers North of Luxor and is named in tribute to the ancient village.
The Temple of Edfu
Another of the most impressive Egyptian monuments is the Temple of Edfu, on the banks of the Nile in the city of Edfu. This shrine to the chief god, Horus, is one of the most well-preserved buildings of Egypt. It was built in 237 BC, during the Ptolemaic Kingdom period. This was one of the most prosperous economic times in Egypt, which is reflected in the size and grandeur of the building.
This temple is notable because of the many inscriptions on its walls, which have been translated by the Edfu-Profect and tell stories from the Hellenistic period. When the Roman Empire banned all worship other than Christianity in 391, the temple fell into disuse.
The Ruins of Memphis
Memphis was once the capital of ancient Egypt. It now lies in ruins, which include some of the most famous monuments in Egypt. The vast site is home to many important temples, statues, and palaces. The ruins are close to the town Mit Rahina, on the outskirts of Greater Cairo.
Memphis was founded by King Menes during the Old Kingdom of Egypt and was once the most important trading area in the country, due to its location at the mouth of the River Nile.
The downfall of Memphis in the 7th Century AD was mostly caused by its economic downturn when the city of Alexandria overtook it in significance. Since 1979, the area has been a preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public.
Other Egyptian Monuments And Buildings Of Egypt
The Egyptian Museum
The best place to view many Egyptian monuments at once is the Egyptian Museum, in Giza. It opened in 1901 and is the Middle East’s oldest archaeological museum. It displays over 120,000 items discovered from Ancient Egyptian times, dating from the Predynastic Period to the Greco-Roman Era.
Some of the most exciting Egyptian monuments in the museum are the statues of King Tutankhamun, King Akhenaten, and several mummies. The museum also has an interesting range of sarcophagi, boats, furniture, and coins.
It’s open daily to the public and is an essential part of any trip to Egypt. If you only visit one museum during your trip, this is by far the best place to learn about the country’s long and varied history.
The Cairo Tower is the tallest building in North Africa, making it one of the most famous modern monuments in Egypt. This free-standing structure measures 187 meters tall and was built in 1961. It’s one of Cairo’s most well-known Egyptian buildings and can be seen from all over the city.
It can be found in the Gezira Island district on the banks of the River Nile. The tower is open to the public and has an observation deck and a revolving restaurant at the top, so you can admire the incredible city skyline from above.
Construction of the tower was funded by a gift from the USA CIA to Gamal Abdel Nasser, an Egyptian politician. The financial bribe was intended to persuade Nasser to stop supporting controversial African independence movements, but he instead rebelled and spent the money on building the giant tower.
Exploring Egyptian Monuments And Buildings Of Egypt
These are just 10 of the most interesting and important Egyptian monuments and buildings of Egypt. The best way to find out more about these fascinating structures, as well as the many other incredible Egyptian landmarks, is to book a trip and explore the country yourself.
There are so many ancient ruins, extravagant temples, iconic statues, and informative museums to enjoy during your visit that make Egypt one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Don’t forget to try some of the delicious Egyptian sweets and desserts on your trip.