When exploring ancient wonders, we tend to zero in in five or 10 of the most popular ones. This is perfectly natural and understandable, but it also limits our scope and keeps us from considering so many other incredible remnants of the ancient world. This is why this site has written about lesser-known wonders of the world before.
Here, we’re essentially going about the same exercise, but keeping it specific to Egypt. Most everyone traveling to Egypt, even if not for the first time, plans on touring Giza to see the great pyramids and the sphinx. These are things you absolutely should do in Egypt, because these monuments to the Egyptian kingdoms’ greatness are some of the most amazing achievements in human history. They’re not to be missed. Neither, however, are several other equally incredible monuments, temples, and areas around the country.
Valley Of The Kings
The Valley of the Kings is something a lot of people have heard of, but few fully understand. It’s perhaps best explained by National Geographic, which describes it as a collection of underground mausoleums, hidden carefully as opposed to the celebrated, towering monuments built to pharaohs. Particularly during the New Kingdom in Egypt – approximately 1539 to 1075 BC – this area became a royal burial ground, such that even while it doesn’t necessarily look like much from overhead, it’s filled with riches and wonders. It’s a fascinating place to tour, and arguably even more interesting for history buffs than the pyramids themselves.
Temple Of Hatshepsut
Not far from the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut is perhaps the most surprising attraction in Egypt. This is not because Hatshepsut isn’t a very famous figure, but because the temple doesn’t necessarily get much publicity. It is, however, a sprawling, incredibly impressive temple built just beneath a row of cliffs and arranged in a different fashion than most any other temple or monument in the country. It’s been reconstructed to some degree to resemble its original form, but it’s still largely authentic, and magnificent to behold.
Abu Simbel is another landmark in Egypt that is somewhat baffling in its relative obscurity. Many even among those who want to go to Egypt may not have heard of it, and its most significant representation in broader culture is a vague visual representation in SlotSource’s Book of Ra video game – which appears to use Abu Simbel as a background image. Abu Simbel is actually the name of a town near the Sudanese border, but the temples that go by the same name are massive, intricate structures carved into a large rock formation and set with giant pharaonic figures seated as if on thrones. It may be Egypt’s most impressive monument from the exterior, aside from what you’ll see at Giza.
Besides perhaps the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak Temple may be the best-known example discussed here, even if it’s nowhere near as well-known as Giza’s monuments. More accurate than “temple” is to call this a whole complex, actually, as it’s essentially a small town’s worth of old temples, statues, and other remnants of the great Egyptian kingdom. Karnak has also had an enduring legacy in pop culture, serving as the inspiration for the name of a boat in the popular Agatha Christie novel “Death On The Nile” (soon to be a film), and even appearing in a big-budget Transformers movie.