Guide to visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser

History of the Step Pyramid of Djoser

Prior to visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser It is convenient to know some brushstrokes of its history. As we pointed out, it is in the Saqqara necropolis, south of Memphis. Its construction was carried out during the reign of the III Dynasty of Egyptaround 2560 BC

This step pyramid It was the first cenotaph to be built in Saqqara., that is, the first funerary monument dedicated in honor of a person, in this case Emperor Djoser. Its architect was Imhotep.

In 1997 this pyramid was declared a World Heritage Sitealong with the rest of the buildings of the Memphis necropolis and the pyramid fields.

Visit the stepped pyramid of Djoser: its architecture

The pyramid, made of polished limestone blocks, is sixty meters high and consists of six levels, which are superimposed on top of each other. As they rise, their size becomes smaller, thus giving them their particular shape.

But the really significant thing, and what you should know before visiting the stepped pyramid of Djoser, is that you will be in front of the oldest stone structure in Egypt. That is why it would later serve as a model for, for example, the construction of the fabulous Giza pyramids.

The pyramid is located in the center of a rectangular enclosure. The wall that surrounds it had fourteen false doors and only one access, which leads to a patio and a room with fasciculated columns. These columns are considered to be the earliest known in Egyptian art.

“A traveler without powers of observation is like a bird without wings.”

-Moslih Eddin Saadi-

More monuments in the Saqqara necropolis

Alongside the Step Pyramid of Djoser, there are also monuments worth visiting if you decide to become an Ancient Egyptian explorer. For example, you can contemplate the temple of the three fluted columns. It is located to the southeast of the pyramid, and was rebuilt by Jean Philippe Lauer.

The chapels of the Thirst Festival also stand out. They are buildings that cannot be accessed, since there is nothing inside, there are only rocks to commemorate the festival of the reign of the pharaoh of the time, the so-called Thirst Festival.

Likewisewe must mention the Houses of the South and North, located to the east of the pyramid. They are buildings decorated with four columns and niches for offerings. The engraved names of the princesses of Egypt appeared on the remains.

Lastly, the serdaba small chamber where there is a hole where you can see the statue of the pharaoh, although the original is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. And next to this, the funerary temple, through which runs a passageway that leads to the pyramid of Djoser and ends in the chamber where the pharaoh’s sarcophagus would be found.

Information of interest to visit the stepped pyramid of Zoser

The Saqqara necropolis is open every day, from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. The entrance fee is 80 Egyptian pounds.

There are two options to get there, and everything will depend on how you are planning your trip. You can go by car, renting a taxi. Cairo is 30 kilometers from the necropolis, so for practically 15 euros you can come and go.

Nevertheless, there are also bus and minibus services. They usually take longer because they make more stops. In addition, they leave you in the town, so you have to walk to the necropolis, which is on the outskirts. The option may be cheaper, but it is not the fastest. Of course, in Saqqara, you can take a tuk tuk up there.

If you want to continue your journey through the history of Egypt, we recommend you go to the Gizah necropolis. Spectacular monuments await you there, such as the pyramid of Cheops or those of Jafra and Menkaura. Seeing its smooth walls will remind you of its origins, located in this necropolis of Saqqara.

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