The great pyramid of Giza is the largest single building ever constructed. It was originally 146m high but now still stands at an amazing 137m high. This is because of the stripping of the pyramids original smooth limestone casing.
The pyramid was built for the Pharaoh Khufu, the second king of the fourth Dynasty.
The pyramid was made of 2.3 million stone blocks weighing from two to fifteen tons each. When completed the great pyramid weighed a total of six million tons. The pyramid was the tallest structure in the world for thousands of years until around 1300 AD.
The second largest pyramid was built for Khufu's son, Khafre the fourth king of the fourth dynasty. Khafre's pyramid looks bigger then khufu's pyramid because it stands on a higher part of the plateau and because it has a steeper angle. It is the only pyramid with a smooth limestone cap. It measures 216m on each side and 143m high. Its limestone bricks weigh about 2.5 tons each.
The last of the pyramids to be built was the pyramid of Menkaure, the son of khafre and the fifth king of the fourth dynasty. Each side measures about 109m and the complete height was 66m.
In addition to these pyramids, small pyramids were built for three of Khufu's wives and several flat topped pyramids for the remains of his favourite children.
In the early 1990's Belgian engineer Robert Bauvel thought the arrangement of the Giza pyramids were remarkably similar to the three stars that make up Orion's belt. Bauvel thought of this more then a coincidence because the constellation of Orion's belt was very sacred to the Egyptians because they believed it to be the home of the god Orisis and thought the shape of the constellation resembled him.
Another interesting observation is that the great pyramid is perfectly aligned to true north, east, south and west. This has led to many people wondering how the Egyptians got their coordinates right and if there was an astrological meaning to its position.