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The Red Pyramid of Dahshur

Discover the enigmatic Red Pyramid of Dahshur, a stunning ancient marvel in Egypt. Explore its rich history, incredible architecture, and mysterious aura as you journey through one of the world's earliest true pyramids.

The Red Pyramid of Sneferu - Egypt Tours Portal
The Red Pyramid of Dahshur
Location Dahshur Necropolis
Height 105 m (344 ft; 200 cu)
Base 220 m (722 ft; 420 cu)
Built By Pharaoh Sneferu
Construction History 2575–2551 BCE
Opening Hours Everyday from 08:00 AM To 05:00 PM


  • The Red Pyramid in Egypt, constructed by Pharaoh Sneferu around 2590 BCE, is a significant historical attraction known for its unique squat appearance and its role as the first successful attempt at building a true pyramid.
  • Situated in the Dahshur cemetery, south of Cairo, the Red Pyramid's construction marked a pivotal development in pyramid building, influencing the construction of other famous pyramids in Egypt, including those at Giza.
  • The pyramid was built as a burial place for Pharaoh Sneferu, reflecting ancient Egyptian beliefs in the afterlife, where pharaohs would continue to rule. It features three chambers, with the main chamber containing a significant amount of stone.
  • The Red Pyramid is open to tourists and offers insight into ancient Egyptian civilization and its architectural achievements, making it one of the most important pyramids in Egypt.

The Red Pyramid is one of the most priceless attractions in Egypt; as it was the first attempt to build a true Pyramid, and the second largest base of all the ancient Pyramids in the history of this glorious civilization. The pyramids were the tallest structures for thousands of centuries. The Pyramids of Giza were built over 5,000 years ago, the pyramids prove to the whole world how the ancient Egyptians were great, powerful, wise, and had all the features that could make them the best nation on the planet.

Have you ever asked yourself how could such a great civilization that had a lack of forklifts, trucks, and bulldozers build such GLORY? Why could anyone spend most of his life achieving such a civilization? And what is inside the Pyramids? Do they have treasures, tombs, or monuments? We will explain all these thoughts in this article to be aware of the Egyptian civilization as our topic today will be one of the most important Pyramids of Egypt, "The Red Pyramid".

History of the Red Pyramid

History of the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
History of the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Pyramid was constructed by Pharaoh Sneferu during the Old Kingdom of Egypt (2575–2551 BCE) which is known as the third pyramid attributed to him. Its construction was around 2590 BCE. Some believe it was around 17 years while some believe it was a shorter period of 10-11 years based on quarry marks.

The Red Pyramid's design is believed to have evolved into its current shape due to engineering & architectural challenges encountered during the construction of Sneferu's earlier pyramids which are The Pyramid at Meidum which is possibly the first attempt at a smooth-sided pyramid that collapsed in antiquity. The Bent Pyramid the second attempt, experienced a significant change in inclination from 54 to 43 degrees during construction. The Red Pyramid was built with a safer angle unlike the bent pyramid to avoid catastrophic collapse.

Location and How to Get the Pyramid

The Red Pyramid is found in the Dahshur cemetery which is about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) south of Cairo. It is situated about a kilometer directly north of the Bent Pyramid and shares a similar shallow angle of 43 degrees in its upper section. This angle gives the Red Pyramid a distinctive squat appearance compared to other Egyptian pyramids of similar size. The site is well-signposted and easily accessible for tourists. To get to the Red Pyramid, everyone can arrange transportation from Cairo by booking with a travel agency which will arrange a driver and tour guide.

Who Constructed the Red Pyramid?

King Sneferu Owner of the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
King Sneferu Owner of the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Pyramid is the tallest Pyramid in Dahshur, they have called it "Red" due to the reddish rusty color of its stone as they appear Red. The Red Pyramid was one of the three Pyramids that was built by "King Sneferu" after he had built the Bent Pyramid. Sneferu was born to a family in middle Egypt in Hermopolis and probably became a king by marrying a Queen from the royal family. King Senferu built the Pyramid of Meidum, it is the earliest Pyramid that was attributed to him, and it was constructed as a step Pyramid but they modified it later into a true Pyramid.

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The second Pyramid that he built was the Pyramid in Dahshur, they had called it "The Bent Pyramid", it was designed as a true Pyramid from the beginning. After twenty- four years, King Senefru was succeeded by his son King Khufu who was renowned for the Great Pyramid of Giza. King Senefru had eight sons, they were "Khufu, Ankhhaf, Kanefer, Nefermaat I, Netjeraperef, Rahotep, Ranefer, and Lynefer I". He also had five daughters “Hetepheres A, Nefertkau I, Nerertnesu, Meritites, and Henusten”. Historians viewed the Region of “Senerfu” as a golden age, as there were numerous places that kept his name after his death due to his greatness when he ruled Egypt.

Why Was the Red Pyramid Built?

Why Was the Red Pyramid Built - Egypt Tours Portal
Why Was the Red Pyramid Built - Egypt Tours Portal

The marvelous Red Pyramid gained the name of the North Pyramid and the Shinning Pyramid to immortalize the grand legacy of Sneferu who was the 1st pharaoh of the 4th dynasty. It was created as the burial place for him within the cemetery of Dahshur. The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife, and they believed that the pharaohs would continue to rule in the afterlife. As a result, monumental tombs like the Red Pyramid were constructed to ensure the safe passage of the pharaoh into the afterlife and to serve as a lasting monument to their rule.

The construction of the Red Pyramid marks a significant development in the art of creating pyramids which acted as the blueprint for the construction of the famous pyramids of the Giza Complex.

What Are the Structures of the Red Pyramid?

Entrance to the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
Entrance to the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Pyramid was built in (2575-2551), and it has one of the largest bases among the whole Pyramids in Egypt as each side measures (722 feet), with sides sloping the Red Pyramid at 43 degrees 22’ to avoid the inclination like the Bent Pyramid. The Red Pyramid is (105m) high, and (220m) wide, and it has three chambers inside. There is a passage (3 feet in height, and 4 feet in width) that leads to a chamber (12 meters high) with (11 steps). It is the fourth-highest Pyramid in Egypt as its layers are 160 stones.

The only entrance to the Red Pyramid is from the north side as it leads to a (206-foot passage to the first chamber). The Red Pyramid remains one of the greatest Pyramids that may have a secret chamber that we have not discovered yet. There is a burial chamber inside the Pyramid (23 feet long), and (50 feet high), but it is believed that there were robbers who took the treasures inside it, so. The burial was inside the Red Pyramid (Possibly).

Why Was It Called the Red Pyramid?

Why It Called the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
Why It Called the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

The “Sneferu Shines" Red Pyramid is known for the reddish hue of its limestone blocks. It was constructed using a type of local limestone that had a reddish color, which gives the pyramid its distinctive appearance. It is worth noting that the pyramid was cased with Tura limestone which was later taken off by Rulers from the Fatimid and Mamluk periods to create the city of minarets Cairo.

The Exterior, Interior, and Chambers of the Red Pyramid

Burial Chamber of the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
Burial Chamber of the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Pyramid measures 105 meters in height and 220 meters in width which is a notable ancient structure. A rare pyramidion was found but its use remains uncertain due to its differing angle of inclination. It features ventilation systems for visitors for anyone who wants to access the interior, visitors climb stone steps to an entrance on the north side.

The Red Pyramid is Egypt's fourth-tallest pyramid, boasting nearly 160 stone layers and representing the first successful smooth-sided pyramid construction. This iconic structure marked Egypt's shift to Giza-style pyramids and is renowned as the country's first true cased pyramid. Tura limestone was used to case the pyramid but most of it was removed with time, Inside is a passage that slopes down at 27°, leading to a chamber with a 40-foot-high corbelled roof. A second chamber below the apex has a similar layout. The third chamber, reached by a wooden staircase, has a 50-foot-high roof but a rough floor, likely due to ancient attempts by robbers searching for treasure. The chamber orientations and features suggest it may have been the burial chamber of the pyramid.

Red Pyramid Gods & Spells

Red Pyramid Text - Egypt Tours Portal
Red Pyramid Text - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Pyramid texts which are a collection of ancient Egyptian religious texts made of spells, prayers, and rituals to guide the decades across their journey to the afterlife to ensure their resurrection were inscribed on the walls of the burial chamber and corridors of the Red Pyramid. They invoked various ancient Egyptian deities which are Osiris, Anubis, and Atum, to protect and guide the pharaoh's soul in the afterlife where he will eventually join the gods and the field of the reeds.

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What Are the Facts About the Red Pyramid?

Facts About the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
Facts About the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

There are facts about the Red Pyramid that we cannot doubt, here are some facts that all Egyptologists agreed on its truth:

  • The Red Pyramid is located on the west bank of the Nile River, this place (Dahshur) contains some important and ancient Pyramids in Egypt.
  • The Red Pyramid is also called "The North Pyramid, and The Bat Pyramid".
  • The Red Pyramid was built by King Senefru.
  • The Red Pyramid has more than 150 stone layers.
  • The Red Pyramid is the third-biggest in Egypt, as it stands for (105m in height).
  • The Pyramid is not always red, as it was completely built in limestone.
  • The Red Pyramid was an attempt to build a true Pyramid, as they had tried to build Pyramids before, but these attempts had failed.
  • There is no exact information about how long they built the Red Pyramids, as some Egyptologists believe that they took 17 years to build it, while others believe that they built it between 10 years and 7 months.
  • The entrance of the Red Pyramids is from the north side.
  • There are three chambers inside the Red Pyramid.
  • The main room of the Red Pyramid contains two million tons of stones.
  • The Red Pyramid is bigger than the Pyramid of Menkaure.

These facts are absolute truths that no one could question them.

Can I Visit the Red Pyramids?

The Mortuary Temple of Sneferu at the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal
The Mortuary Temple of Sneferu at the Red Pyramid - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Pyramid was closed for many years, but it is now open to the whole tourists, in addition, intrusive ventilation has been installed which pipes air to the people down in the interior chambers. It is safe to visit the Red Pyramid individually, with families, or even with large groups. You can visit the Red Pyramid every day from 08:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. in the winter, and from 08:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. during summertime. 

Tours at the Red Pyramid

Most travelers ask for an additional tour of the Red Pyramid besides their tour of the Pyramids in Giza for its importance as it is the third-biggest Pyramid in Egypt, and the first attempt to build a Pyramid:

1- Individually

You can arrange your tour of the Red Pyramid on your own, if you are in Egypt, design your own tour and hire a car that has GPS features and go directly via Google Maps, but make sure that you are going on time, as it is open from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm every day. We highly recommend going with a travel agency to avoid hassles, as they will provide you with a car, and also with an Egyptologist to help you to know more about the history of your Language.

2- In A Full Package

If you are not in Egypt and want to be part of this amazing experience, do not hesitate to book with a trusted travel agency to make your own tour. You can add it to the Pyramids day tour as it is not included because it is not in the same location as the three Pyramids, and as wise advice, we recommend visiting some other attractions such as Aswan, and Luxor city as it has two-thirds of the monuments of the world, and Hurghada city as this city has ones of the most beautiful beaches in the world.


Upon considering all the facts, the Pyramids of Egypt is a grossing article to write, we have created many disputations over the years until the moment we are and will continue in the upcoming years, as the ancient Egyptians had not given up all of their immortal secrets even after over five thousand years of their death. These stone buildings will be one of most topics that scholars will talk about in the future.

Egypt Tours Portal offers single-day tours to Giza Pyramids including visiting the Red Pyramid and Egypt private tour packages to cover Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, and Hurghada attractions. Do not miss trying this amazing experience with our travel agency as there is something for everyone to experience in our packages, there are many options for our guests, so you do not have to break the bank to explore the land of Pharaoh.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Red Pyramid a step pyramid?

No, the Red Pyramid is not a step pyramid. It is the first true pyramid ever made in the history of Egypt with smooth, sloping sides, unlike the earlier step pyramids.

Can you go in the Red Pyramid in Egypt?

Yes, visitors are allowed to enter the Red Pyramid as part of guided tours. You can explore the inner chambers of the pyramid.

Can you climb The Red Pyramid?

Climbing the exterior of the Red Pyramid is not permitted for tourists, but you can enter the pyramid and explore its magnificent interior.

Who is buried in the Red Pyramid?

The Red Pyramid was built as the tomb for Pharaoh Sneferu, the first pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

How old is The Red Pyramid in Egypt?

The Red Pyramid was constructed during the 26th century BCE which makes it over 4,500 years old.

Was a mummy found in Red Pyramid?

No, there was no mummy found in the Red Pyramid. The pyramid is believed to have been robbed of its treasures and burial goods by tomb raiders across time.

What Are the Finest Destinations to Visit in Egypt?

The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.

What Are Egypt's Visa Requirements?

If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.

What Is the Top Traditional Egyptian Food?

Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.

What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.

What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?

You should pack everything you could ever need in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.

Why Book With "Egypt Tours Portal"?

We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 20 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort to make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the finest atmosphere until you return home.

Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.

What to Wear While in Egypt?

Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.

What are the Best Activities to Do in Egypt?

The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.

What are Egypt Festival and Public Holidays?

There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.

What are Special Advice for Foreign Women in Egypt?

Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

What are the Official Languages of Egypt?

Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.

What is the Transportation in Egypt?

The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.

What is the Weather is Like?

The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

What are the Reasons That Make You Visit Egypt?

It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.

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