The Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three pyramids of Giza in Giza Plateau in Cairo, Egypt.

© Mirko Kuzmanovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pyramid of Menkaure


At 62m (originally 66.5m), this pyramid is the smallest of the trio, only about one-tenth the bulk of the Great Pyramid. The pharaoh Menkaure died before the structure was finished – around the bottom are several courses of granite facing that were never properly smoothed. Inside, you descend into three distinct levels – the largest surprisingly vast – and you can peer into the main tomb.

Outside the pyramid you’ll see the excavated remains of Menkaure’s Funerary Temple and, further east, the ruins of his valley temple. To the south is a set of Queens’ Pyramids. If you hike this far, horse and camel touts will want to lure you out into the desert for better photo ops of all three pyramids. If you go, keep your general-admission ticket handy in case police ask for it when you return.

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