What's the Largest Pyramid in the World?

By: Yara Simón  | 
Giza Egypt Pyramids in Sunset Scene
The Great Pyramid of Giza may be the tallest pyramid, but it's not quite the largest when you measure sheer volume. Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images

When you think of the imposing stature of pyramids, you might picture the Great Pyramid of Giza. But the Egypt-based structure is by no means the only impressive pyramid in the world.

Here, we dive into the largest pyramid in the world (an incredible Aztec achievement) as well as four other awe-inspiring ones.


5 of the Largest Pyramids by Volume

Egypt is home to a few of the largest pyramids, but the world's largest pyramid is on another continent. Here are five of the biggest ancient pyramids by volume in descending order.

5. Bent Pyramid

Located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, this ancient pyramid gets its name because of its unique bent appearance. It is 43,685,655 ft³ or 1,237,040 m³.


4. Red Pyramid

This Egyptian pyramid is the third-largest pyramid in the world by volume (59,823,045 ft³ or 1,694,000 m³). It is a true smooth-sided pyramid.

3. The Great Pyramid of Khafre

The Great Pyramid of Khafre is the second-largest pyramid at the Giza complex with a volume of 78,084,118 ft³ (2,211,096 m³), but it appears taller because the Giza pyramid is on lower ground.

2. Great Pyramid of Giza

Located in Egypt, the Giza pyramids are one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and a tourist attraction. Its sheer size — 84,755,200 ft³ or 2.4 million m³ — and historical significance make it one of the most impressive architectural achievements of ancient Egypt.

1. Great Pyramid of Cholula

About 63 miles away from Mexico City sits the biggest pyramid in the world. The Quetzalcóatl Pyramid at Cholula de Rivadavia is the Guinness World Record holder for the title of largest pyramid in the world.

The ancient temple measures 166,538,400 ft³ (3.3 million m³) and is also the "largest monument ever constructed," according to Guinness. Built to honor the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Cholula pyramid sits atop a hill. A Catholic church dedicated to the Virgin Mary is at the very top of the complex.


The Largest Pyramid by Height

A few of the largest pyramids by volume, including Bent Pyramid and Red Pyramid, are also among the biggest by height. The absolute tallest, though, is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Guinness World Records named it the "tallest pyramid."

"Also known as the Great Pyramid, it was 146.7 m (481 ft, 3 in) high when completed around 4,500 years ago, but erosion and vandalism have reduced its height to 137.5 m (451 ft, 1 in) high today," according to Guinness.


Reception of a Modern-day Pyramid

There are modern-day pyramids, though it might be more accurate to say the structures are pyramid-shaped. One of the most well-known is the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.

It's one of the tallest pyramid-shaped structures and one of San Francisco's tallest buildings at 853 ft (260 m) high. When the Transamerica Corporation — the entity behind the building — publicly shared its design, it didn't receive positive reactions. One writer called it "authentic architectural butchery."


We created this article in conjunction with AI technology, then made sure it was fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.