Exploring the Location of Giza in Egypt

The pyramids of Egypt are abundant, but if we focus on the main pyramids, we can find them grouped in large necropolises near Cairo. Surprisingly, all these necropolises are located on the left bank of the Nile, towards the West. This strategic positioning is not accidental. In ancient Egypt, the West represented the world of the dead, while the East symbolized the realm of the living. Hence, the necropolises were situated in the West, while the cities thrived in the East. This symbolism was closely tied to the movement of the Sun, as it rose in the East, signifying life, and set in the West, representing the afterlife.

The Royal Necropolises

During the old empire, the tradition of building pyramids was mainly followed during the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th dynasties. The most prominent necropolis was Saqqara, dominated by the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Located about twenty kilometers south of Cairo, on the left bank, it lies just west of Helwan.

Giza, another well-known necropolis, is famous for its three colossal pyramids. Situated in the suburbs of Cairo, it shares its name with the city hosting it. The Giza plateau resembles Saqqara but is further north. Other necropolises include Dahshur, south of Saqqara, Abusir to the north, Meïdoum, known for its truncated pyramid, and Zaouiet el-Aryan, where the unfinished Pyramid of Khaba is found. Abu Rawash, northwest of Cairo, houses the tomb of Pharaoh Djedefrê. These necropolises are all located in or near Cairo, forming a sequence from north to south.

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During the Middle Kingdom, the capital was moved away from Memphis, which eventually fell into disuse. The new capital had its necropolis in Litch and Hawara. Hawara, further south than Meidoum and more to the west, is the only necropolis with pyramids located far from the Nile. Litch, on the other hand, is located about 20 kilometers north of Meidoum and approximately forty kilometers south of Cairo, close to the river.

The Pyramids of Giza’s Location

The pyramids of Giza are situated on their namesake plateau, which overlooks the Nile valley from an elevated position. Approximately 25 kilometers south of Cairo, the city of Giza, a suburb of the capital, hosts these majestic structures. The plateau is located 8 kilometers away from the Nile. Notably, there was once an arm of the Nile that used to flow at the foot of the plateau, but it has since been diverted.

The choice of this location holds historical significance. In ancient times, the city of Memphis, a flourishing city at the mouth of the Nile Delta, was situated on the opposite side of the river, much like Cairo today. Being a well-populated city with abundant water resources, it served as the capital of the fourth dynasty, marking the beginning of the old Empire. The first two dynasties had their tombs in Umm al-Qa’ab, Abydos, and the third dynasty preferred Saqqara, a little south of Giza. However, the Giza site had already been utilized for tombs, although not royal ones. When the kings of the Fourth Dynasty selected a location, they chose this plateau, which already had existing tombs, albeit not of royal status.

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GPS Coordinates

The GPS coordinates of the Giza Pyramids are precisely 29° 58’44” North and 31° 08’02” East. With the help of Google Earth, you can explore the exact location by clicking on this link: Google Earth links.

On the map, it becomes evident that the Giza plateau not only marks the boundary between the desert and the Nile valley but is also at the edge of the Cairo metropolis.


Although Giza’s necropolis is only a few kilometers away from the center of Cairo, it is advised against traveling there by private means due to the city’s challenging traffic. However, for those who are curious, the following are the distances between the Giza Pyramids and notable landmarks around the world, measured “as the crow flies”:

  • Colosseum: 2,131 kilometers and 100 meters
  • Eiffel Tower: 3,215 kilometers and 190 meters
  • Tower of London: 3,510 kilometers and 520 meters
  • Taj Mahal: 4,568 kilometers
  • Forbidden City of Beijing: 7,570 kilometers and 440 meters
  • Statue of Liberty: 9,042 kilometers and 710 meters
  • Christ the Redeemer of Rio: 9,869 kilometers and 140 meters

Provincial Pyramids

Provincial pyramids, built during the Third and Fourth Dynasties, were smaller pyramids located outside the capital city of Memphis. They were constructed in the provinces under the rule of Pharaoh.

These provincial pyramids can be found in various locations, including Athribis, Elephantine, Edfu, Hierakonpolis, Nagada, Abydos, Al-Minya, and Seilah.

To learn more about the provincial pyramids, visit the 5 WS website.

The 5 Ws and H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving. 5ws.wiki will best answer all your questions

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