The biggest and tallest pyramids in the world are amazing works of design, engineering, and building. Many of them were built almost 4,500 years ago, which makes them even more amazing. Read on to learn more about these huge megaliths used as tombs, memorials to dead rulers, places to honor gods, even as jokes, and to store useful for the afterlife.
When we hear the word Pyramid, we immediately think of Ancient Egypt, where many of the world’s biggest pyramids are located. But there are also old pyramids in Mexico, Guatemala, Nigeria, Greece, China, and Peru, among other places. Even in Rome, there is a pyramid.
It was built around 15 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius. It is still one of the best-preserved old buildings in the Eternal City. Sudan in Africa is the place with the most pyramids. The people of Nubia built a lot of pyramids. Even though many have been destroyed or lost over time and shifting sands, there are still about 220 left, more than in Egypt.
El Castillo, and Chichen Itza
Location: Yucatán, Mexico; Height: 29.8 meters
The Mayans built the Mesoamerican step pyramid between the 8th and 12th centuries. It is a masterpiece of absurd and mathematical accuracy that has long fascinated and confused experts. The Pyramid is the most famous symbol of Mayan culture. It is a temple for the serpent god Kukulcan.
Pyramid of Menkaure
Location: Giza, Egypt; Height: 61 meters;
It was likely built about 2550 BC for the 4th Dynasty pharaoh Menkaure. Even though it is the smallest of the three Pyramids of Giza, it is still one of the largest pyramids in the world. During excavations in the 1830s, archaeologists found that it had several complicated rooms and beautiful carvings.
Location: El, Petén, Guatemala; Height: 72 meters
La Danta is one of the ancient world’s biggest buildings, and it stands out above the trees in the northern Guatemalan jungle. It is also one of the candidates for the largest Pyramid in the world. It is part of El Mirador, which means “the viewpoint.” El Mirador is a lost Maya city that prospered from the 6th century BC to the third century AD. By the end of the 9th century, it was finally abandoned.
The Bent Pyramid
Location: Egypt, Dahshur; Height: 104.8 meters
There are different ideas about why this Egyptian Pyramid is shaped the way it is. The steep angle of the building made it likely to fall under its weight, so the angle was changed halfway up, or it is a physical transition between pyramids with stepped sides and pyramids with smooth sides. We do know that Old Kingdom pharaoh Sneferu built it around 2600 BC. Even though it was built so long ago, it is still one of the biggest and highest pyramids in the world.
Location: Las Vegas, USA; Height: 108 meters
People from the past constructed not all pyramids. It wasn’t the world’s biggest Pyramid, but it was close. It opened in 1993 and was the world’s highest hotel in Las Vegas until Treasure Island started opening 11 days later. The hotel is, not surprisingly, based in ancient Egypt, and a giant replica of a Sphinx stands at the entrance.
Great Pyramid of Giza
Location: Giza, Egypt; Height: 138.5 meters
The Great Pyramid, also called the Pyramid of Cheops, is the earliest of the seven wonders of the Old World and the sole one that is mostly still standing. It is the most well-known Pyramid, but it is not the largest. It was built about 2600 BC as Khufu’s tomb during the Fourth Dynasty. It is still the longest Pyramid in the world, and then for 3,800 years after it was built, it was the highest structure in the world.
The Big Pyramid of Cholula
Location: Puebla, Mexico; Height: 55 meters
It is a place of worship for the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. The Toltec-Chichimec folks, who moved to where Puebla was now in the 12th century, built it in stages between the 3rd century BC and the 9th century AD. The building was called Tlachihualtepetl, which means a mountain made by hand.
Cholula isn’t even close to being among the highest pyramids in the world, but it is by far the largest Pyramid in the world by quantity. Its base is almost 50 acres big. It is the biggest structure ever built, according to Guinness World Records. Its volume is an astounding 4.45 million cubic meters, almost twice as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Most of the world’s largest pyramids were built for religious reasons and to protect, honor, and glorify the dead. They are complex, beautiful structures that have stood the test of time and continue to amaze and fascinate tourists, archaeologists, and scholars who visit, study, and try to understand them.