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Pyramid of Khafre

Pyramid of Khafre

The Pyramid of Chephren is the second largest and highest Pyramid in Egypt. Due to the descending inclination angle, the Pyramid looks taller than the Cheops pyramid.

It was named after the Pharaoh Chephren, the son of King Cheops.
The Pyramid stands southwest of the Cheops pyramid and thus forms the center of the pyramids of Giza. The Pyramid was generally built with poorer craftsmanship than the Great Pyramid.

The structure faced granite at the bottom and limestone at the top, which can still be seen at the top.
Ramses II used the Pyramid’s limestone cladding in the 19th dynasty to build a temple at Heliopolis and, in 1362, to construct the Hassan Mosque.
To the north, the Pyramid of Chephren has two steep entrances, one above the other. The lower entrance is 30m outside the Pyramid, and the higher one is 11.5m above the ground.

Both open horizontally into a side chamber, the function of which is similar to the queen’s room in the Cheops pyramid, to a corridor. That goes horizontally in the center of the Pyramid.
A 10m wide enclosing wall surrounds the Pyramid. The remains of a secondary pyramid can be seen to the south outside the fence.

It is not known whether it is a tomb for one of Chephren’s wives or whether it was only built as a cult pyramid. The Pyramid also has a valley temple, an ascent, and a mortuary temple, with the mortuary temple to the east.

Pyramid of Menkaure
The Great Pyramid of Giza

Who built the pyramids of khafra? 

Khafre ordered the construction of this Pyramid. Khafre, The king, is, called “Chefren or Chofran, “ruled Egypt for twenty-six years between the years (2559 – 2535 )

son of Cheops and father of Menkaure and married princess Maras Ankh,  which is mentioned in historical sources that she was buried in a large cemetery near his tomb.
Khafre was a pharaoh of the fourth family, and he built the Chephren pyramid, which has the same architectural beauty as the Cheops pyramid.

This Pyramid’s design differs from the other Egyptian pyramids, as most Egyptian pyramids contain hidden entrances that do not appear to onlookers.
The Pyramid of Khafre was designed differently, as it contains two visible entrances leading to the burial chamber inside the Pyramid, including King Khafre.
This same pharaoh is also credited with building the Sphinx; the Valley Temple, a funerary temple; and the processional road from the Pyramid to the temple.
So the construction not only implied the creation of the Pyramid, it was the entire funerary complex that includes two temples, two cemeteries, and a solar boat.

Pyramid of Khafre
Necropolis of Saqqara

What can I find inside the Pyramid of Khafre?

It is the most common and frequent question of readers who are always looking for information on the pyramids and the Pyramid of Chephren and want to know what they can find inside it.

The Pyramid is located southwest of his father’s Pyramid and has two entrances from the northern part.
Inside the Pyramid is a burial room, but when it was discovered, it was empty. Until now, the Khafre pyramid is the only one covered from the top, and there are so many other things inside the Pyramid to discover.

Pyramid of Khafre facts

  • Khafre’s Pyramid was called the Great Pyramid because although it was initially smaller than Cheops, it appeared taller due to its higher level on the Giza plateau. Today it is indeed the tallest Pyramid in the complex due to the deterioration of the upper part of the Cheops pyramid. It reaches a height of 143.5 meters, and each side is 215.5 meters long.
  • The upper part still preserves the original limestone coating that covered the entire Pyramid. Its interior is more straightforward than that of the Cheops pyramid, and it has two entrances on the north façade, one twelve meters high and the other at ground level, thirty meters from the Pyramid’s base.
  • The sarcophagus chamber is carved into the rock, although the roof is made of granite slabs placed obliquely, gabled; the lining of the walls is also the work of stonework. Inside the burial chamber is a red granite sarcophagus, practically level with the ground but empty for a long time. The first western explorer to access the burial chamber, Giovanni Battista Belzoni, in 1818, only found some cow bones and Arabic inscriptions left by previous visitors.
  • 500m from this complex and the Pyramid, the remains of the so-called city of workers have been found. This city was separated from the population and had all the necessary services for their lives and needs: bakeries, artisans, doctors, etc. This village was recently discovered, confirming that the builders were cared for and well-nourished workers.
  • The most significant damage that this Pyramid received was in the 14th century, becoming the most serious. To give an example, it was this earthquake that permanently demolished the Alexandria lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World,

Distinctions from the Cheops complex

Kefren’s funeral complex differs from that of his father, Keops, as planned. To begin with, the outside coating was not the same since, like Micerinos, Kefren’s had a granite covering in the first rows near the ground rather than Turah limestone. This limestone was present, but only up to a specific height.

Another distinction is that the Cheops pyramid was constructed on flat, completely level terrain. Kefren’s journey began on a little hill hidden under the massif, enabling him to earn many blocks.

The issue was the Pyramid’s floor, which was not flat suddenly.

The Egyptians of the period had to cut the hill on the terrace, then cut stone blocks to match the widths of the balconies. In this manner, they achieved a flawlessly flat surface after several layers.

So, we may conjure the existence of a unique annexed pyramid, a worship pyramid. In contrast, Cheops has a worship pyramid and three annexed pyramids for two wives and Keops’ mother, albeit these Attributions are not final.

The khafre dimensions pyramid

Kefren’s Pyramid was once 143.87m tall, but it is now only 136m tall due to the loss of its Pyramid, the little Pyramid at the summit. It has a 215.16m square base with an inaccuracy of just 8cm, or 0.04 percent.

We may say anything we want, but building a pyramid with more than 200 meters on each side with such a minor inaccuracy is a remarkable marvel when we consider the modest technological means

that the builders had at the time. Its inclination is 53 degrees, 2 degrees higher than Cheops’. The Pyramid is aligned at the four cardinal points with the slightest variation at the base

and even less at the summit due to a minor bending of the faces that are invisible to the human eye.

Pyramid of Khafre, Pyramid of Khafre

The infrastructure of the Pyramid of Khafre

The Pyramid is constructed of massive limestone pieces excavated on the Giza plateau. The blocks were dug out from the earth and then trimmed to roughly the correct size by tailors before loading onto big wooden sleds.

These sleds were pulled on the ground or in logs to the elevation system, which differed from Pyramid to Pyramid. We don’t know what mechanism was used in the Khaphren pyramid, but it was most likely a basic ramp.

The sleds were towed by inexperienced laborers who were recruited on the spot. They were local farmers with nothing else to do during the terrible season.

The stones that make up the massif of the Kefren Pyramid are rough, except for their precise heights, which guarantee that the layers in layers, the Pyramid stays horizontal. However, the connections between the stones are broad, and there is no mortar, like in the case of the Cheops pyramid. Closer to the faces, the blocks were cut more meticulously, and their equipment was higher quality.

Finally, the fourth limestone, from an underground quarry east of Cairo, was used to coat the Pyramid. The first and bottom rows were made of pink granite from a quarry near Aswan, Egypt. The granite stones had to be delivered by water to the shipyard. Some are enormous, and the Pyramid is by far the one that has employed the most significant stones in ancient Egypt‘s history.

Pyramid of Khafre, Pyramid of Khafre

The Valley Temple

The Khafre Valley Temple in Giza was used as a mortuary temple for King Khafre and his family. Nowadays, the valley temple of Khafre represents an essential part of the pyramid complex of Giza. 

The temple is a trendy destination for tourists visiting Egypt as it is an excellent sign of ancient Egyptian civilization and living proof of how vital the Fourth Dynasty was in the history of Egypt and its civilization.

Where is it located?

The temple is east of Khafre’s Pyramid, on the Giza plateau, just outside Cairo, where the desert begins.

Who built it?

Valley Temple is attributed to King Khafre, the fourth pharaoh of the fourth dynasty.

The reason for its construction:

The temple was used for the pharaoh’s mummification and purification before burial in the Pyramid.


The temple was built as part of the Giza necropolis and was connected to the Pyramid through a causeway through which the pharaoh’s body was taken to its last resting place.

It was built with limestone, and its walls reduce in thickness as they rise, giving it the appearance of the traditional mastaba. Both its interior and exterior are covered with polished red granite.

The temple was preserved in perfect condition, as it was buried under the desert sand until the 19th century when the Egyptologist Auguste Mariette discovered it in 1852.

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About the author

Magdy Fattouh (Migo) is a creative content marketer and expert in search engines for over 5 years. He manifests his passion in his role as a Creative Content Writer especially in travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.