Majesty of ancient Egypt brought to life in spectacular detail
For many people, visiting the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world is a lifetime dream, but not everyone has the opportunity to experience their majesty in the flesh. However, it is now possible to experience the next best thing – a complete virtual tour that includes the pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Pyramid of Djoser in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, among many other sites. More than 10 million people visit Egypt every year, but now many more people can experience its beauty thanks to a new Google street view project, which allows you to take ‘a virtual walk among the stunning monuments and rich history’ of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
To the east of the pyramids sits the Great Sphinx, which is the oldest and largest known monumental sculpture in the world. Image source: Google street view capture.
Google also mapped the Pyramid of Djoser –which is the first to be designed by the great Egyptian architect Imhotep and lies along with the enclosure wall (pictured) at Saqqara. Image source: Google street view capture.
The new virtual tour begins at the world famous Pyramids at Giza, where you can pan the landscape, and zoom in on anything you see around you. Visitors to Google Maps can even zoom in on landmarks from above to explore them. You can then manoeuvre your way east toward the Great Sphinx, the world’s oldest and largest monumental sculpture.
A view from the gods: Visitors to Google Maps can zoom in on landmarks from above to explore them. Image source: Google street view capture.
The tour also takes you to several other historically important sites in the region — including Abu Mena, one of the oldest sites of Christianity in Egypt; the Hanging Church, one of the oldest Coptic Christian churches in the world; the Cairo Citadel, a medieval Islamic fortification and historic site; and the Citadel of Qaitbay, a 15th-century defensive fortress on the Mediterranean coast in Alexandria.
The Citadel of Qaitbay, a 15th-century defensive fortress perched atop the Mediterranean coast. Image source: Google street view capture.
Google captures most of its Street View images with cameras mounted atop its Street View cars. That wasn’t an option in Egypt, so Google sent in live camera operators to capture the 360-degree images on foot.
“The Pyramids of Giza have survived nearly five millennia, and stand as a testament to the ingenuity of the ancient people who built them. Now this legacy is preserved in a new way with panoramic and immersive Street View imagery,” Tarek Abdalla, Google’s Head of Marketing in the Middle East and Africa wrote.
Google has previously mapped the temple of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and the Taj Mahal in India as well as the Great Barrier Reef.