The Sphinx, Cairo
The Sphinx is located at the site of the Pyramids in Giza. It has the head of a human and a lion's body, and is the first truly colossal royal sculpture in Egypt.
We were told that it was carved from natural bedrock in a quarry right next to the pyramids. Created during a particular pharaohs reign, it most likely had his facial features, but the body of a lion to show he was a powerful ruler.
As you can imagine, I took loads of photos here - trying to capture the best angle....while at the same time trying to take a photo without loads of other tourist in it!
It really capped the whole experience off nicely - first the Pyramids and then The Sphinx.
A must see!
I had always thought that the Sphinx and the Pyramids were more or less the same - as in, that the Sphinx was at the foot of the pyramid. Most pics you see of the Pyramids appear to illustrate it this way.
When I actually got there I was therefore surprised to discover that the Sphinx is actually situated a little distance away.
I found myself profoundly affected by my descent into a pyramid, but this became even more intense when I finally founf myself standing at the Sphinx. I was so overcome by emotion that I burst into tears. I cannot explain this emotion, but the closest I can come is to say that I felt a tremendous affinity with this place.
Don't visit the pyramids without going the extra few hundred metres to the Sphinx.
You've seen it in pictures, you've seen it in movies, but like the pyramids it is difficult to imagine how big the Sphinx truly is until you actually see it.
Even though it's face was destroyed, and it's body weathered by thousands of years, it is still an amazing statue.
Well what can I say??
" you'll get goosebumps " :)
Hours 08:30 - 16:00
As at March 2009: 60LE Adult entrance for entire site.
Can buy tickets to go inside a Pyramid.
100LE to enter the Main one, or 30LE to enter the second one.
A local advised us that we might as well go in the cheaper one - you see very much the same.
"The tunnels down into the Pyramids are very cramped, hot and airless.
You go down one decent around 100 ft, then there is a little 2 ft levelling off where you can take a break...... there you discover that you have to do the same again (only deeper into the Pyramid) - at this point my heart started pounding and I panicked and ran back up and out again! haha "
The 'for hire' photo takers & camel owners can be a bit persistent and a pain in the ass.
A firm 'No, thank you' is all that's needed. Works best not to faff about with why's and wherefore's.
The Sphinx is located at the base of the Pyramid of Khafre.Sphinxes were guardian deities in Egyptian mythology.It is a human head attached to a lion's body.This Sphinx measures 73m long and 20m high.Ancient Egyptians believed that this monument possessed prophetic powers.You may wonder where his nose's gone,well it is said to be hit by a cannon fire so as his beard.The nose has never been found but the beard is now in London's British Museum.But researchers believe the main causes of Sphinx deteroriation are wind,erosion,pollution and mass tourism.
The protector of the pyramids. I spent most of my time pondering whether or not the pigeons were being a tad disrespectful by sitting all the over face and head of the Sphinx... and I am quite surprised I had a moment to ponder anything between the pushes and shoves from other tourists... but at some point I must have sharpened my elbows because there we 4 sat, in a great position enjoying a nice bottle of warm water.
The Pyramids of Giza were built by the Pharaohs Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus after which they were named and are almost 5000 years old. The Sphinx is 57 metres long and 20 metres high.
The cost of entering the site is 60LE for adults (as of Nov. 2008) with reductions for students and children. There are also extra charges for entering the Cheops and Chephren Pyramids, of which Cheops is the most expensive at 100LE and Chephren at 30LE. The Solar Boat museum has an extra charge too. You can also do camel rides for an extra fee which you can negociate with the handler. The Giza site is open from 8am - 4pm (in winter) and until 5pm in summer.
There is also an evening Sound and Light show at the Pyramids (see Sound and Light tip for timings of the shows in different languages) and the cost of this is 75LE.
Carved out of one huge piece of limestone the Sphinx is about 50 metres long and about 22 metres high. Its nose nearly as famous as Cleopatra's, was used for target practice during the Turkish occupation and shot off.
At the foot of the Sphinx is the Valley Temple of Chephren.
Nowadays the complex is suffering from pollution and rising groundwater.
Aside from the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx at Giza is one of the famous attraction in Egypt. The Sphynx is a statue bearing the head of a human and the body of a lion. This is consider as one of the biggest statue found in Egypt. You have to see it personally to define what i mean with HUGE.
Wondering what happened to the missing nose? Lots of theories and controversies had been said and published but upto this time no one can ever tell exactly what happened.
Here is one popular story:
a. They said, the nose was used by the soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte fro target practice.
More than a mystery guarding the pyramids, the sphinx is a complex, with a temple showing some interesting details in its construction.
(And providing a few blessing shades that give time to think and to appreciate the dimension of the whole)
As a matter of fact there are two temples near the sphinx, but only the one facing it was built in the same time, and probably by the same constructors. It seems that in was never finished, and though showing the same signs of erosion than the sphinx, it is a brief and interesting visit.
Last but not least on our visit the this complex,was the Great Sphinx. What trip to Egypt would be complete without a stop at the Sphinx! The Sphinx is the guard of the Royal buriel chambers and the Temple of Cheops. Our guide tells a huge mound of granite was infront of the Pyramid Complex and the King thought it spoiled the view.Thus the Sphinx was cleverly carved in its place.
Each evening there is a Sound & Light Show near the Pyramids. Although I hear it is a good show ,we chose to keep our $100.00 (price for two with transportation) and enjoy the Pyramids as they were before technology.
Security is toght all around the Pyramids. We see lots of guards with kalishmikob rifles and tourist police on horseback, camel, and in heavy armoured vehicles. . This is in an effort to secure tourists from terrorist attacks. It gives us a feeling of unease and is a grime reminder of troubles in the past.
The Sphinx is the guardian of the Giza Plateau. It is 20 metres high and has a long body. It is dated back to about 2500 BC.
The Sphinx is actually quite close to the pyramids and you can get some great views of the Sphinx with the pyramids in the background from the street below...
It is also quite close to the edge of the city...there is actually a KFC and Pizza Hut within metres of the Sphinx, just across the road! :(
a warning, the sellers and touts and hawkers in the walkway going to the sphinx is the more aggressive of them all around the Giza Complex, so be sure to be in a big group when going to the Sphinx.
the sphinx is the iconic guardian of the pyramids and is where the light and sound show plays everynight (unfortunately i did not have time to see it). the sphinx is the largest monolith structure in the world at 73.5 meters (241 feet) long, 19.3 meters (63 feet) wide, and 20.22 meters(66.34 feet) high and is made from a single large block of sandstone during the reign of Pharoah Khafre during the fourth dynasty and it was believed to be called the horus of the horizon and there are conflicting theories on what it was made for and the origins. even the destroyed nose and beard of the sphinx has several theories on when it was defaced like napoleon's soldiers, ottomans, sufi saint and more.
according to wikipedia:
The Great Sphinx of Giza (Arabic: أبو الهول Abū al Hūl, English: The Terrifying One), commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.
It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres (241 ft) long, 19.3 metres (63 ft) wide, and 20.22 m (66.34 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558–2532 BC).
The sphinx lies between the ancient ceremonial cause-way of the funerary complex of Khafra and the modern road leading to the top of the plateau.
Approximately 65 feet high (20m) and 200 feet long (73m), the Sphinx was the first colossal statue in the history of ancient Egypt.
The Sphinx wears a NEMES on its head. This piece of fabric wrapped across the forehead and widened at the sides of the head, decorated with a snake in the middle, was the headdress typically worn by the Pharaohs.
A half-human, half-lion creature. The Sphinx of is one of the largest statues on Earth made from the single stone. The Sphinx is 20meters high and 60meters long.