There are more than hundred pyramids in Egypt and one of the oldest pyramids is called the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. This is a very unique pyramid as compared to other smooth-sided pyramids because it was designed in a set of six layers or steps.
How long does it take to reach Saqqara?
Saqqara is a small town located 24km from Cairo, it took about an hour to reach. We departed at 7 am in the morning from our hotel in Cairo to visit Saqqara Step Pyramid, hoping to reach the site before the crowd of tourists arrive.
Pyramids are one of the most important monuments of ancient Egypt and fascinate so many people like you and me. Until today, we are still wondering how pyramids were built a few thousands of years ago.
Saqqara step pyramid was the first Egyptian pyramid to be built, about 4700 years ago. It was the first and it was built by stacking mastabas on top of one another, progressively making them smaller. If you do the counting, there are 6 mastabas (layers) and it is 60 m high.
Who built the Step Pyramid of Saqqara?
King Djoser built the step pyramid, he was the second king of the 3rd dynasty of ancient Egypt. His name got famous for building the step pyramid. There is a life-size sculpture of King Djoser placed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
To be more precise, the architect who designed the step pyramid is called Imhotep, he was the architect, priest, physician and chief minister to King Djoser.
Where is Saqqara, Memphis?
The location for Saqqara was not suitable for settlements. In fact, it is the city for the dead. It was in the west of Memphis. It was one of the oldest and most important cities in ancient Egypt, it served as the capital of ancient Egypt and an important religious cult center. The Pharaonic capital is about 7 km from the Nile River. and it was surrounded by deserts all over.
The walk is easy as the grounds are quite flat and mostly covered by sands. You will enter through an entrance building through colonnades and a small hypostyle hall. In total there are 40 columns built to ensure the safety of the ceiling.
If you are interested in getting souvenirs here, you can and do remember to bargain.
On the way to Saqqara
We passed by villages on the way to Saqqara, looking at the daily life of the people here. Children herding sheep and goats.
Donkeys are often seen to use to transport people and goods.
Egyptian flatbread or Aish Baladi were seen displayed at the front of the traditional bread store.
You will notice the unfinished building here. The flat roof serves as cool sleeping quarters as well as storage areas. Sometimes chicken and goats are kept here too. Egyptians also love to stay together even when their children got married. The father will then add a second story to his house so that his children are still staying with him.
If you love photography, then visit Saqqara early in the morning so that your pictures have no photo bombs from the tourists. This site is always crowded with tourists so be here as early as possible. Another tip is to try to choose some bright color clothing to match with the backdrop of sandstones. Red is a good color to stand out and make your pictures look great.