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Russian tourists got unprecedented access to the Great Pyramid recently, by sneaking past guards and capturing images of some of history’s most visually captivating structures.

The photographers were able to snap photos of the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramid of Giza, all by hiding out in the area, which has been off-limits for tourists to climb since the 1980s.

Photographer, Vitaliy Raskalov, took the photos which were posted online.

From the Daily Mail:

The group of Russians claim to have arrived at the complex early and waited in the shadows before starting their climb as night began to fall, according to a report on the English Russian.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to remain largely intact.

It is thought to have been built as a tomb for an ancient Egyptian pharaoh over a period of around 20 years up to 2560BCE.

The pyramid was originally covered by highly polished white casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface, but centuries of erosion mean the structure’s stepped underlying core is visible today.

It is thought to be made up of around 2.3million limestone blocks believed to have been transported from nearby quarries.

Originally towering at 481ft, the Great Pyramid was the world’s tallest man-made structure for over 3,800 years.

Today it stands at 455ft tall, and is dwarfed by the 2,717ft Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which currently holds the title of world’s tallest building.

Since the year 2000, millions have traveled to Egypt to see the pyramids. The North African country saw tourism rise 17 percent in 2012, bringing in $9.9 billion for the year.

Last month, 19 tourists from all over the globe, died in air hot air balloon accident near Luxor.

See the photos from the Russian tourists below.

Photos: Vitaliy Raskalov

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