Destinations, Events

18th Century Temple Open to Public for First Time as Sphinx Reopens

November 11, 2014 by

Sphinx

The colossal Sphinx monument in Egypt has been undergoing restoration for almost four years. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world, and has undergone restoration numerous times to help repair damage from the elements.

The massive restoration is just about complete and soon “the Sphinx courtyard will be opened for the first time since the restoration,” according to Antiquities Minister Mohammed al-Damati. “Once the courtyard is opened, tourists can walk around the Sphinx.”

When the announcement was made, no official open date was announced.

sphinx

Restoration of the Sphinx

The Sphinx is carved from a single ridge of limestone and is situated in a quarry below the level of the plateau where the pyramids of Giza stand proudly outside of Cairo. This time the restoration included the replacement of some slabs on the left side of the monument due to cracks, and the chest and neck were refurbished with a new coating to help prevent further erosion.

sphinx

Small Temple Opened to Public for First Time

Along with the reopening of the Sphinx courtyard, Damati also announced that the small temple built next to the Sphinx by pharaoh Amenhotep II of the 18th dynasty will also be opened to the public for the first time, and the Menkaure pyramid, which is the smallest of the three Great Pyramids of Giza will also be reopened after three years of restoration.

While the exact purpose of the Sphinx is still not known, most archaeologists believe it was constructed for religious and astronomical reasons.

Even though the reason behind the Sphinx of Giza is unclear, it has remained a symbol of Egypt for thousands of years. This ancient marvel is one of the most photographed in the world. With the body of a lion and the head of a king, it is thought to symbolize strength and wisdom, but when you actually get to see it and stand beside it, you realize pictures don’t begin to capture its magnificence. The paws alone are 50 ft. long.

Photo credits: kill2travel



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