Eight Awe-Inspiring Pyramids From Around the World
Giza, Egypt doesn’t have a monopoly on “great” pyramids. From the mysterious Temple of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan in Mexico to the kitschy Luxor Las Vegas, here are eight of the most striking structures in the world.
The Pyramids of Giza
The only surviving wonder of the ancient world, the Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure pyramids are well-deserving of their “great” designation. Add the site to your bucket list, but tread lightly—tourism is both a blessing and curse for the preservation of these spectacular tombs.
The Memphis Pyramid
Teotihuacan in Mexico
While the Aztec city of Teotihuacan thrived between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., the legendary Temple of the Feathered Serpent is still confounding historians and archeologists. Earlier this week, “large quantities” of unexplained liquid mercury were found at the end of the 340-foot-long tunnel underneath the ancient pyramid.
The Mayan Pyramids of Tikal in Guatemala
An easy day trip from Guatemala City, Tikal is a favorite tourist destination, largely due to its five soaring pyramids. Once a thriving city, the ancient Mayan ruins—complete with carved monoliths and ancient ball courts—are now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Luxor Las Vegas
The Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino stands 350 feet tall—less than 100 feet shy of the original Great Pyramid’s height—and features a spotlight pointing up through the apex, which supposedly can be seen from space.
Pyramid of Cestius in Rome
Likely built as a tomb for a wealthy citizen in 12 BCE, the Pyramid of Cestius illustrates the Roman obsession with Egyption design and culture post-conquering. This infatuation with the Egyptian aesthetic is also thought to be the inspiration for the numerous Roman obelisks that still stand today, from the tower in St. Peter’s Square to Sallustiano above the Spanish Steps.
Uxmal Pyramid in Mexico
Known as the Pyramid of the Magician, this Mayan structure is considered emblematic of the Puuc architectural style, and one of the most important archeological sites in Mexico.
The Sudanese Pyramids
Egypt may have the biggest pyramids, but Meroe, located in modern-day Sudan has the most. Like their Egyptian neighbors, Nubian royals were commemorated in death with steep sandstone pyramids built over their tombs.