One of the largest and oldest monumental statues in the world, the 66-foot-tall (20-meter-tall) Sphinx of Giza is an iconic symbol of Ancient Egypt. This sculpture, dating back to the reign of Khafre, is still the subject of debate over its meaning, age, and original builder, but with the head of a human and the body of a lion, the Sphinx is said to symbolize strength, power, and wisdom. The mystery surrounding its long-forgotten purpose is almost as intriguing as its appearance.
Today, the Sphinx is a star attraction in the nightly Pyramid Sound and Light Show, which recounts the history of Egypt through colored lights with the Sphinx as narrator.
Seeing the Sphinx is a must-do on any trip to Cairo, and there are a number of ways to make the most of your visit. Full-day tours often combine a visit to the Pyramids of Giza with a trip to the Khan El Khalili Bazaar and the Egyptian Museum. Other options include a camel ride or a cruise on the River Nile.
The Sphinx is located to the northeast of the site of the Pyramid of Khafre, surprisingly close to the edge of Cairo's suburbs and on the Giza Plateau. The best way to visit is by guided tour. A taxi can also be taken from the center of Cairo to the Pyramids of Giza complex. Once there, it is possible to walk or take a camel ride around the site.
Did You Know? It was only in 1905 when sand was cleared away from the statue that the full magnitude of the body of the Sphinx was revealed.