Giza (sometimes spelt Gizah; Coptic: Giza; Egyptian Arabic: الجيزة el-Gīza), is the third largest city in Egypt. It is located on the west bank of the Nile, some 20 km (12.43 mi) southwest of central Cairo. Along with Cairo Governorate, Shubra El-Kheima and Helwan and 6th October City, the five form Greater Cairo metropolis. The city of Giza is the capital of the Giza Governorate, and is located near the northeast border of this governorate in coordinates. It is located right on the banks of the River Nile. The city’s population was 2,681,863 in the 2006 national census, while the governorate had 6,272,571 at the same census. Its large population made it the world’s second largest suburb in 2006, tied with Incheon, South Korea and Quezon City, Philippines, second only to Yokohama, Japan.
Giza is most famous as the location of the Giza Plateau: the site of some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples. The plateau and its monuments have been recorded in the Giza Plateau Mapping Project run by Ancient Egypt Research Associates, directed by Dr. Mark Lehner.
The Great Pyramid of Giza at one time was advocated (1884) as the location for the Prime Meridian, a reference point used for determining a base longitude.
Giza has seen many changes over time. Changes in infrastructure during the different occupations of Egypt by various rulers, including the British in the 18th and early 20th century, focused on the construction of roads, streets, and buildings in the area. Giza is a thriving centre of Egyptian culture and is quite heavily populated, with many facilities and buildings in the current area. Giza saw much attention in particular to its vast amount of ancient Egyptian monuments found on the Giza Plateau, and has astonished thousands of visitors and tourists over the years. Giza’s infrastructure saw much attention from both the British government prior to the 1952 coup d’etat, as well as the current Egyptian government due to the city’s importance in tourism.
The city hosts the first zoo on the entire African continent and one of the oldest in the Mediterranean region, the Giza Zoo. In addition, there are several parks, the most famous among them is Orman Park which means “Forest Park” in the Turkish language.
“Mn Nefer” (Memphis, in Greek) – which means “the beautiful wall” in the ancient Egyptian language -, the capital city of the first unified Egyptian state since the days of Pharaoh Narmer, lies nearly 20 km (12.43 mi) south of Giza. Giza’s most famous archaeological site, the Giza Plateau, holds some of the most astonishing monuments in Egyptian history. Once thriving with the Nile that flowed right into the Giza Plateau, the pyramids of Giza were built overlooking the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis, which at the other side of the river to modern day Cairo.
The Giza Plateau is also home to many other ancient Egyptian monuments, including the tomb of Pharaoh Djet of the First Dynasty, as well as that of Pharaoh Ninetjer of the Second Dynasty.