Luxor Temple is one of the most famous temples in Egypt. It dates from around 1400 BC - younger than the Great Pyramids but much older than most other ancient structures around today. It was built by famous pharaohs like Ramesses II, Amenhotep III, and Tutankhamen.

Egypt is full of things to see from the pyramids to the must-see and mystical Valley of the Kings. It is full of wonders of empires of long ago so different to our own today. Few places are as mysterious and intriguing as Egypt.

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The Ancient City Of Thebes (Waset)

Luxor Temple is located in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor. The city of Luxor rests on the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes (called Waset in ancient Egyptian). It was known as the City of a Hundred Gates and was the capital of Egpyt for a time. It was the capital from the twelfth dynasty (from around 1,991 BC) and reached its peak in the New Kingdom.

  • King Ramesses II: Ruled Egypt For About 67 Years And Is Famous For His Building Projects

The only other city that could compare to Thebes was Memphis, but unfortunately today there is nothing left of Memphis. Memphis was pillaged for its masonry to build new cities and little remains of its former splendor.

  • Capital: Thebes Was Once The Capital Of Egypt
  • Memphis: Was Once Equally Grand But Nothing Remains Today

Thebes was once a large city, but its mud-brick houses and palaces have long since disappeared. Only its stone temples have survived down through the ages. According to Memphis Tours, Luxor is today the world's largest outdoor museum.

Luxor is one of Egypt's most famous and visited cities and it is home to several other great temples on both the east and west banks of the Nile. Other great temples in Luxor were the Temple of Seti I, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Temple of Ramesses II, and the Temple of Ramesses III.

Related: This Is What It's Like To Be Inside The Great Pyramid Of Giza

The Temple Of Luxor

The Temple of Luxor was built by Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC) but completed by Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) and then added to by Ramesses II (1279-13 BC). In the Egyptian language, it was known as ipet resyt - "the southern sanctuary."

  • Built: By Amenhotep III, Tutankhamun, Horemheb, And Ramesses II

During the Roman period, the temple and the surroundings were a legionary fortress and home of the local governor.

 

While other temples were dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the pharaoh in death, the Luxor Temple was dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship. It is possible that the pharaohs would have been crowned in the temple. About a thousand years later Alexander the Great claimed to have been crowned at Luxor - even though he never traveled to southern Egypt.

  • Dedicated: To The Rejuvenation of Kingship

The temple has been in a near-continuous use as a place of worship for thousands of years. A chapel inside Luxor Temple was originally dedicated to the goddess Mut. But was changed to a Tetrarchy cult chapel during Roman rule and then to a church. Finally, the temple was buried beneath the streets and houses of Luxor and a mosque was built over it. When the temple was excavated, the mosque was carefully preserved.

As one wanders around the temple, let one's imagination run imagine what it would have been like with the temple surrounded by a warren of mud-brick homes, shops, and workshops. They are now all buried beneath the modern city.

In the front of the temple is the Avenue of Sphinxes. Originally it ran all the way to the temples at Karnak 3 kilometers to the north - today it is almost entirely excavated.

As one comes to the temple, one will be impressed by the massive 24-meter high first pylon built by Ramesses II to commemorate his military exploits. Originally there were also six colossal statues of Ramesses II with four seated and two standing - but only two seating and one stand remain.
  • Battle Of Kadesh: Commemorated In The Reliefs On The Pylon
  • Obelisks: Originally Two Pink Granite Obelisks, One Remains While The Other is In Place de la Concorde in Paris

Related: The Pyramids: 20 Things Everyone Should Know Before Visiting This World Wonder

Tours Of Luxor Temple

One can select from a range of tours. One of the tours that Memphis Tours offers is the Tour of the East Bank in Luxor. On this tour, one can see the sites on the East Bank and the two well-preserved temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor. Karnak is actually the largest temple complex in Egypt.

  • Cost: $75 to $40 Depending On the Number of Visitors
  • Duration: Around 4 Hours
  • Type: Private Tour
  • Pick-Up Time: From 9 am to Noon
  • Includes: Private English-Speaking Egyptologist Guide
  • Entrances Fees: Included

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