Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, is no stranger to tourists. With a plethora of attractions and sightseeing opportunities, the pyramid city always has something for everyone. However, some of the most desirable tourist attractions are not within Cairo itself, but at a short distance away from the city. The Dahshur pyramids, attracting flocks of tourists annually, is an excellent example of such attractions. 

A royal cemetery, Dahshur, is situated approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Cairo. The necropolis is based on the River Nile’s western bank and houses some of the best-preserved Egyptian pyramids, known as the Dahshur Pyramids. 

Archaeological studies suggest that this set of pyramids was constructed between 2613 and 2589 BC. To learn more about this remarkable historical monument, you can use our Tripety travel itinerary planner app.

  • The cemetery of Dahshour contains many pyramids.
  • Dahhshur pyramids are a UNESCO World Heritage site and an important destination for visitors.
  • The Bent Pyramid is the most popular pyramid in Dahshur. 
  • The Bent Pyramid is 599 ft square and its original height was 344 ft.
  • The Bent Pyramid gets its nickname from its unusual bent angle – the initial 54° angle changes to 43° halfway up.
  • The Bent Pyramid was built 40 km (24 mi) south of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile around 2600 BC.
  • It is one of the best-preserved and intact pyramids in all of Egypt due to an exterior polished limestone unlike most of the pyramids in Egypt. 
  • The ancient Egyptians called the pyramid the southern shining pyramid and Sneferu is the shining in the south.
  • It was the first pyramid to have smooth sides and a typical architectural design of a step pyramid.

The Dahshur Pyramids

Many historians believe that the Dahshur Pyramids are the ‘true’ pyramids of Egypt, precisely because of how old they are. In fact, Dahshur brags two of the oldest pyramids across the entire country. Another fascinating aspect of the Dahshur pyramids is the massive variation in design from one structure to another.

Below are some of the most famous pyramids in the Dahshur necropolis:

The Bent Pyramid: Constructed during the time of Pharaoh Snerfu, the Bent Pyramid’s structure indicates a clear shift away from the conventional ‘stepped’ design. The Bent Pyramid is considered to be the first attempt at creating a pyramid with smooth sides. 

Even though there is an agreement that the builders wanted to include the smooth sides in the pyramid design, the jury is still very much out behind the reason for the pyramid’s awkward shape and structure. While some historians and archaeologists believe that the angular sides formed part of the original blueprint, others believe that the builders had to shift from a steeper to a gentler slope halfway through the constructions.

The Red Pyramid: While the Bent Pyramid was merely an attempt at a smooth-sided pyramid, the Red Pyramid was the first ‘actual’ pyramid with level sides. This pyramid was also built in Pharaoh Snerfu’s time, and many historians think that Snerfu wanted the Red Pyramid to be his ultimate resting place. 

However, this conjecture has never really been proven, even though the pyramid’s excavation did reveal human remains.

The Black Pyramid: King Amenemhat III started the pyramid’s construction but had to halt it midway after the desert sands were not deemed stable enough for the gigantic structure’s weight. 

Despite suffering severe damage over the centuries, the Black Pyramid is still one of Egypt’s most popular tourist sites.

Pyramid of Sesostris III: This pyramid was initially constructed in a vast complex alongside several smaller ones. These smaller pyramids were probably built for royal females, including the Pharaoh’s daughter. 

However, upon excavating the area, archaeologists were also able to find numerous cemeteries, serving as final resting turf for officials from the Middle and Old Kingdoms.

Needless to say, Dahshur, with its multitude of pyramids and cemeteries, is a fascinating place to visit. If you are looking to plan a trip to Egypt, you can use our Tripety travel planner app with its comprehensive nature and user-friendliness. 

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