7 Surprising Facts About the Great Pyramid of Giza

Great Pyramid of Giza

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The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most famous structures in the world. It was built over 4,500 years ago and is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Here are 7 interesting facts about the Great Pyramid of Giza.

1. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years

The Old St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (149 m) and Lincoln Cathedral (160 m) surpassed the Pyramids. They were built beginning in the 12th century and were completed and at their tallest in the 1310s (1314 and 1311 respectively). 

2. The purpose of the Pyramid is uncertain

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built by the ancient Egyptians. Most people believe that it was built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops, in Greek) who ruled from 2589 to 2566 B.C. The pyramid was, however, not finished when Khufu died. It was finally completed by his son Djedefre (Khafre, in Greek).

Some think that the pyramid shape represents the rays of the sun. Still, others believe that pyramids were used as a type of calendar, with each side representing a different season. It is likely that there was no single reason for why pyramids were built, but rather a combination of factors.

There are many theories as to why the ancient Egyptians built pyramids, but one popular theory is that they were used as grain silos. This theory is based on the fact that the Pyramids were built in areas where there was a lot of agriculture, and that they were built near the Nile River, which was a major source of water for irrigation. The Pyramids were also built in a way that made them very sturdy and able to withstand the elements, which would have been important for storing grain.

However, there are no records or inscriptions indicating that this was its intended purpose. Moreover, the pyramid’s interior space is too small to have accommodated large quantities of grain. It would have been very inefficient.

3. The interior of the Great Pyramid consists of three chambers

The pyramid is made up of three chambers: the King’s Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber, and the Grand Gallery. Each of these chambers has its own unique features.

The King’s Chamber is located in the center of the pyramid. It is a large room with a high ceiling. There are two narrow shafts that lead from the chamber, but their purpose is unknown. Some believe that they were used to transport the Pharaoh’s body into the afterlife.

Elevation diagram of the interior structures of the Great Pyramid. The inner and outer lines indicate the pyramid's present and original profiles. 1. Original entrance 2. Robbers' Tunnel (tourist entrance) 3, 4. Descending Passage 5. Subterranean Chamber 6. Ascending Passage 7. Queen's Chamber & its "air-shafts" 8. Horizontal Passage 9. Grand Gallery 10. King's Chamber & its "air-shafts" 11. Grotto & Well Shaft (Source:

The Queen’s Chamber is located under the King’s Chamber. It is smaller than the King’s Chamber and has a low ceiling. There is a niche in the chamber that some belief was used for a statue of the queen.

The Grand Gallery is a long, sloping corridor that leads from the King’s Chamber to a smaller corridor of the pyramid. The Grand Gallery is decorated with red and black granite and has a corbeled arch ceiling.

4. The mystery of the granite chest...

Inside the main chamber of Khufu’s great pyramid, there is a granite chest. At first glance, there is nothing out of the ordinary. It appears to be perfectly normal. However, upon closer inspection, you notice that it is made of one solid massive piece of granite that cannot fit through the passageway you just walked through to access the chamber.

How did it get there? Was it brought in, or was the great pyramid constructed around it?

5. Napoleon spent the night in the Great Pyramid

In 1798, during the Egyptian Campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleon Bonaparte spent a night in the Great Pyramid of Giza. He was accompanied by a slave,  Josephine de Beauharnais, and a group of officers.

They climbed to the top of the pyramid and then descended into the King’s Chamber, where they slept on straw mats. The next morning, they woke early and climbed back to the top of the pyramid to watch the sunrise.

Afterward, Napoleon commented that it was “a thing not to be believed without having seen it.” The experience left him with a deep respect for the ancient Egyptians and their culture.

PS. This story is actually a legend, according to his secretary, Napoleon never entered the pyramid. (source)

6. Nobody knows how the Great Pyramid was built

It is not known exactly how the ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids, but there are many theories. Some believe that huge blocks were hauled up ramps; others suggest that they were lifted into place by crane.

The most popular theory is that the stones were dragged up an inclined plane by workers who used log rollers and sleds lubricated with water or wet sand. Another theory suggests that the blocks were floated down rivers to the building site. The Great Pyramid took about 20 years to build and is composed of 2.3 million limestone blocks, each weighing an average of 2.5 tons.

It is believed that the great pyramid was built using around 2.3 million limestone blocks, weighing an average of 2.5 tons each. The ancient Egyptians used the same method to create the Khafre and Menkaure pyramids.

The great pyramid was around 481 feet (146,5 m) tall and covered an area of 13 acres. Today it stands at 137 m (449.5 ft) high, having lost 9.5 m (31 ft) from the top.


Pyramid of Giza - missing top
Pyramid of Giza - missing top

7. Under the Pyramids are secret tunnels

Another surprising aspect of the Egyptian pyramids is the complex network of tunnels, chambers, and shafts that lie beneath them. Due to government oversight of the tunnel excavations and a desire to keep the project’s progress secret, few people are aware of the excavations under the Pyramid. Therefore, the public doesn’t know what was discovered in the tunnels and shafts under these pyramids.


How to visit the great pyramid of Giza

If you’re interested in ancient history and architecture, visiting the great pyramid of Giza is a must. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your visit:

The Great pyramid is located in Cairo, Egypt. You’ll need to make your way to the Giza plateau, where the pyramid is located. There are several ways to get to the plateau, including taking a taxi or bus. Once you’re there, you’ll need to purchase a ticket to enter the site. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. The great pyramid is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it’s managed by the Egyptian government. It’s open daily from 8:30am to 4pm.

If you don’t feel like the hassle of catching a bus or a taxi, you might consider an organized tour. Most tours include the entrance to the plateau, but you’ll have to pay extra if you’d like to enter the great pyramid. 


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Hi, I'm Christine and I love mysteries. My fascination ranges from historical enigmas to spirit animals. This website showcases my favorite mysteries, all from my unique perspective. While the spiritual sections are rooted in faith rather than fact, I hope you'll approach them with an open heart and enjoy the journey as much as I have.

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