The Djoser's Pyramid, also known as The Step Pyramid of Djoser, is one of Egypt's most iconic and well-known structures. It is also one of the oldest, dating to around 2630 BCE. Djoser's Pyramid was built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Djoser and is one of the most important examples of early Egyptian architecture.
This guide will cover the history and architecture of the step pyramid complex. It will also try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting the site such as: Why visit? When is the best time to go? Is it safe? How much does it cost? How do I get there? - and more.
The initial plan for the Pyramid underwent numerous alterations and developments. It was once covered in polished white limestone and measured 62.5 meters (205 feet) tall with a base that measured 109 meters by 121 meters (358 feet by 397 feet). Though Gisr el-Mudir, a nearby enclosure, and the South American pyramids at Caral are more recent, the step pyramid is thought to be the first large-scale carved stone structure.
The step pyramid serves as a prelude to later pyramids of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Dynasties, including the great pyramids of Giza, even though the plan of the Step Pyramid complex differs from later complexes. The discovery of Imhotep, the complex's architect, credited with its conception and building, is fascinating.
When one thinks of the great ancient Egyptian civilizations, the first name that comes to mind is the mighty Imhotep. He was not only an architect and a physician but also a priest, a scribe, and an advisor to the king.
Imhotep was born around 2650 BCE in the city of Memphis. His father was known as the god of craftsmen and a priest of Ptah, while his mother is only known by the name Kheredu-ankh. Little is known about his youth, but it is believed that he had good education because:
Imhotep's work on the Step Pyramid earned him the title "Son of Ptah" and "Vizier of Lower Egypt". He was also deified after his death and worshipped as a god of healing and wisdom. In addition to that, a cult dedicated to him arose in the New Kingdom, and temples were built in his honour.
Imhotep is still revered as one of the most influential figures in Egyptian history. His work on the Step Pyramid has inspired architects and engineers for centuries, and his name is still synonymous with greatness.
The Pyramid of Djoser is a world-famous example of early Egyptian architecture. It is renowned for its simple yet elegant design and use of stone in its construction.
The Third Dynasty built the first Pyramid in Egypt around 2630 BC; Imhotep designed it as the royal vizier and architect of Djoser, the second king of the Third Dynasty.
The Pyramid of Djoser is built of limestone, with a base measuring around 105 m x 105 m. It has six tiers, each decreasing in size, and is topped by a small shrine. The Pyramid was once covered in white limestone, which would have made it shine in the sun. Djoser built the Pyramid as his tomb so that his body could be placed in one of the Pyramid's chambers.
The Pyramid of Djoser is a significant example of early Egyptian architecture and engineering. Its simple design and use of stone make it a unique and iconic structure.
Image From Wikipedia
The Necropolis of Saqqara is one of Egypt's most important historical sites. Located in near Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, the Necropolis of Saqqara was the burial ground for the Pharaohs and their families. The site is home to many ancient monuments from the Old Kingdom Pharaohs.
The Necropolis of Saqqara was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Tourists from all over the world come to see tombs and other monuments that can be seen around the area.
The Courtyard is a large, roughly 500 by 200-metre rectangular area. Two king statues weighing about 20 tons guard the entrances of the high wall enclosing the area. The Step Pyramid looms over the enclosure and is the Courtyard's most recognizable feature.
Six steps make up the Pyramid, and each one represents a different degree of the afterlife. The underworld's entrance is the first stop on the ladder; the courtroom is the second; Osiris' paradise is the third; the sacred place is the fourth; the perfect place is the fifth; and the spiritual place is the sixth.
The trip of the pharaoh to the afterlife is shown in distinct hieroglyphics, and paintings adorn each step.
A network of tunnelled chambers and galleries extends over 6 km beneath the step pyramid and connects to a central shaft that is 7m in area and 28m deep. These areas offer space for the monarch's burial, the interment of family members, and the storage of supplies and offerings. A pattern that would continue throughout the Old Kingdom was constructing the 28m shaft's entrance on the north side of the Pyramid. The sides of the tunnels are made of limestone with blue faience tile inlaid to resemble reed matting. Together, these rooms make up the funeral apartment, which resembled a palace and served as the royal ka's residence.
A vault of four courses of well-dressed granite served as the burial chamber. It had one aperture, covered after burial by a 3.5-ton brick. Due to the thorough looting of the tomb, no body was found. Before the granite burial chamber, according to Lauer, an alabaster one existed. Intriguing proof of the beginning of a tradition was discovered in the form of limestone slabs with five-pointed stars in low relief that were probably on the ceiling.
Previously, the public was prohibited from entering the Pyramid's interior due to safety concerns. Nevertheless, the system of tunnels and chambers was restored in March 2020 following a $6.6 million, 14-year rehabilitation process. The project reconstructed damaged walls and ceilings, strengthened passageways to make them structurally secure, introduced contemporary lighting, and restored Djoser's burial chamber. Nowadays, visitors can enjoy the bizarre experience of going far into the Pyramid to discover its secrets.
So, if you are interested in engineering, history, or want to see something truly unique, then make sure to add this fantastic site to your travel itinerary.
There are many different types of travellers worldwide, and each one enjoys different experiences. Some people enjoy visiting ancient ruins, while others enjoy visiting modern cities. Some people enjoy visiting countries with a lot of history, while others enjoy visiting countries with beautiful scenery or miles of sandy beaches. Each type of traveller will enjoy different aspects of The Step Pyramid.
Travellers of the following types will undoubtedly adore this magnificent monument:
History Buffs: The Step Pyramid is one of the world's oldest and most well-preserved pyramids. It is an incredible example of ancient engineering and a fascinating glimpse into the past. History buffs will love exploring the Pyramid and learning about its history.
Adventure Seekers: The Step Pyramid is more than just a monument - it's an adventure. Explore the tunnels and chambers inside or take a camel ride through the surrounding desert. There are numerous options for hiking and climbing around the Pyramid complex.
Families: It is an excellent place for families to visit. The area has many kid-friendly activities, and the Pyramid is an impressive and educational attraction.
Photographers: It is a popular destination for travel photographers. That said, along with the Great Pyramids, it is considered one of the most photographed ancient monuments in the world.
Filmmakers: The Pyramid is also a popular destination for filmmakers. Filmmakers produced many movies at the Pyramid, including The Mummy, The Ten Commandments, and Stargate.
The Step Pyramid is also a popular spot for weddings and other special events.
Whatever kind of traveller you are, you're sure to enjoy your time at this incredible monument.
There is no definitive answer to this question, as everyone has different preferences. However, tourists believe certain seasons of the year are ideal for visiting.
These are typically the months of April, May, September and October. The crowds are fewer, and the weather is usually mild during these months, with temperatures ranging from 20-25 degrees Celsius.
There is also less chance of rain, making visiting the Pyramid a more pleasant experience.
Assuming you are starting from central Cairo, there are a few different ways to get to the Pyramid.
These are the following transportation choices if you need to commute:
The Step Pyramid at Saqqara is open every day, all year round, from 8 am through till 5 pm during the Summer (April - September) and 8am through till 4pm during the Winter (October - March). The latest entry is one hour before closing time. Times may vary during Ramadan. The entrance fee is EGP100 and discounted to EGP50 for students.
Note: Opening times and entrance fees are subject to change without notice and are correct as of March 2022
Today, the Pyramid is a popular tourist destination, and visitors are often curious about the appropriate dress code for this sacred site.
Here are some tips when deciding what to wear to the Pyramid:
The recommended level of fitness to visit the Djoser pyramid is moderate.
There are a few stairs to climb, but nothing too strenuous. The complex is extensive, so there is a lot of walking involved. However, the heat can be intense, so staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade when needed is important.
The Pyramid's interior is unsuitable for those with claustrophobia, as it consists of several small, dark chambers. Additionally, visitors should be informed that the Pyramid lacks an elevator or an escalator. Because of that, they will need to walk up and down several flights of stairs.
All in all, the Djoser pyramid is a great place to visit, but it is important to be aware of the fitness level required to do so.
Those who are not fit may find the hike up to the pyramid challenging, and the Pyramid's interior may not be suitable for everyone. However, those who can make the journey will be rewarded with some of the most amazing views in all of Egypt.
Due to its age and location, the Step Pyramid presents several safety hazards that visitors should be aware of.
These are several risks associated with visiting the Step Pyramid:
First and foremost, the structure is ancient and has not been well-maintained. As a result, stones are cracked or crumbling in certain places.
In addition, It is situated in a desert environment. This means that there is a risk of dehydration and heatstroke for visitors who are not prepared properly. It's important to hydrate well and dress appropriately for the weather.
Lastly, It is located in a country that has experienced political unrest in the past. There have been several terrorist attacks in Egypt, and there is always a level of risk of future attacks. Before travelling to the country, it is vital to know the current political situation.
Given the risks associated with visiting, Tourists should follow several safety recommendations.
First, it is essential to have travel insurance before travelling to Egypt. This will ensure that you are covered if something goes wrong.
Second, it is important to be aware of your surroundings when visiting the Pyramid of Djoser. There have been several allegations of pickpockets and other thieves targeting tourists in the area. Be sure to keep your belongings close and look for suspicious activity.
Third, staying hydrated when visiting is important. The desert climate can be incredibly harsh, making it easy to become dehydrated without realizing it.
Finally, it is essential to have a realistic expectation of what you will see when visiting the Step Pyramid. The structure is ancient and has not been well-maintained over the years. It is not as grand or impressive as it once was.
However, it is still an incredible feat of engineering and a reminder of the rich history of Egypt.
To protect Visitors as well as the ancient monument. These are some safety measures that you should expect when visiting the Pyramid of Djoser:
These security precautions are in place to ensure visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Pyramid is one of the most iconic structures in Egypt. Additionally, it is one of the most well-liked travel spots in the nation. As such, a wide variety of souvenirs are available at the site.
Some of the most popular items include replicas of the Pyramid, statues, and other items depicting the ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Several books and other educational materials are also available for purchase, which can help visitors learn more about the history and culture of Egypt.
In addition to traditional souvenirs, the site offers several unique items that tourists can find nowhere else. These include items made from the Pyramid's stone, jewellery, and other items specifically designed for the site.
No matter what type of souvenir you want, the Djoser's Pyramid will indeed have something to suit your needs. With a broad variety of options available, there is something for everyone at this popular tourist destination.
Several different activities are available for visitors to the Djoser's Pyramid. One of the most popular is the chance to explore the inside of the Pyramid.
Visitors can enter the Pyramid through a special entrance and explore the various chambers and passages. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see inside an ancient Egyptian pyramid and experience what it was like to reside there.
Another popular activity is the chance to take a camel ride around the Saqqara Necropolis. Visitors can ride around the Pyramid's perimeter on a camel and get a different perspective on this ancient monument.
For those seeking a break from touring the inside of the monument, these rides are a memorable and entertaining way to experience the Pyramid.
If you want to get a more practical experience, there are several workshops available. These workshops teach visitors about different aspects of Egyptian cultures, such as hieroglyphics, mummification, and pottery.
Finally, there is also the opportunity to tour the surrounding area. The Saqqara Necropolis is home to several other ancient Egyptian monuments. A site tour can give visitors a sense of the scale and scope of the ancient Egyptian civilization. This typically includes the Pyramid of Djoser, the Tomb of Imhotep, and the Mastaba of Mereruka.
There are several ways to experience the Pyramid, and all visitors are sure to find an activity that suits their interests.
Whether exploring the inside of the Pyramid, taking a camel ride, or taking a tour of the surrounding area, there is something for everyone at the Pyramid of Djoser.
If you're planning on visiting the Pyramid, These are the few things you should bear in mind to maximize your experience:
Finally, have fun! The Step Pyramid is an excellent site and will surely be a memorable experience. Enjoy your time in Egypt!
If you are looking for a tour and not finding what you are looking for, have a look at our best other related tours to check out for your travel plans. At Encounters Travel, we offer a variety of tours to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us help you plan the perfect getaway.
A short family adventure that combines visits to the pyramids, sphinx and Cairo Museum, with a short camel ride, school visit and a felucca cruise on the Nile, this tour is great family introduction to Egypt.
A great introduction to Egypt, travel through the Nile Valley visiting Egypt's ancient sites. From the Pyramids & Sphinx in Cairo, to Abu Simbel, the Valley of the Kings & Karnak Temple, including a felucca cruise along the Nile.
Classic Cairo & Nile cruise tour, including the pyramids & sphinx, Egyptian Museum, and a luxury 5-day/4-night Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan. All the main highlights in the Nile Valley are covered, with Abu Simbel an option.
Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.
Guide to the best Nile River cruises. Taking a Nile cruise is one of the most popular things to do on an Egypt Holiday. Operating between Luxor and Aswan, taking a Nile cruise offers an excellent way to visit the many pharaonic sites that lie close to the river Nile.