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The Sphinx is one of the best known monuments on Earth and dates back over 4,500 years to the Old Kingdom and the time of king Khafre - builder of the second largest pyramid on the Giza plateau on Cairo's outskirts. The head of the Sphinx probably depicts Khafre, while the body is that of a recumbent lion.
The Sphinx is about 73.5 meters(240 feet) in length. It was originally sculptured from a limestone outcrop and, for most of its history, the Sphinx has been at least partly covered in sand. The first recorded clearing took place in the 18th Dynasty when a prince, who later became the pharaoh Thutmose IV, ordered that the sand be removed. This happened after he supposedly had a dream in which he was told that he would become pharaoh if he cleared the Sphinx.
Unfortunately, in recent centuries, the Sphinx has suffered greatly from the influence of man and exposure to the environment. Numerous attempts have been made to restore the figure and additional modern limestone blocks have been added around the base.
In front of the Sphinx is its temple, while adjacent to it is the better preserved Valley Temple of Khafre. A causeway, seen behind the Sphinx in the photograph above, connected Khafre's Mortuary Temple next to his pyramid with the Valley Temple. At night, Sound & Light shows are performed at Giza and the audience is seated in an area located to the left of this view. The show is viewed from an area to the east of the Sphinx and pyramids.
Road to Egypt works with you to plan your Egypt experience at a pace and taste that suits your wish list and your budget. Choose from our suggested private tours or let us customize a program just for you. Contact us and speak to one of our tour designers.
Find answers to common questions about our Private Tours of Egypt. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to call us. We're always happy to help.