Luxor is unique among the cities of the world. Wherever you tread, you feel you are experiencing the past and the present at one and at the same time. There is hardly a place in the city that does not have a relic that tells of the grandeur of the Ancient Egyptians several thousand years ago.
Where does the name ‘Luxor’ come from?
Luxor is part of ancient Thebes: ‘the one hundred-gated city’ as it was called by the renowned Greek historian, Homer, because of its buildings and large gates. The city grew over the years, and the Arabs, impressed by its beautiful places and hug edifices, re-named it ‘Luxor': City of Palaces.
Luxor remained the seat of power from 2100 to 75- B.C. That is why the visitor is awed by the city, made immortal by its huge pillared-monuments along both banks of the Nile, in the City of the Living, in the east , where the life-giving sun rises; and in the City of Dead, in the west, where the sun, in its never-ending orbit, bids farewell to life
The East Bank of the Nile
The Temple of Luxor and Karnak, and the Museum.
The West Bank of the Nile
The Colossi of Memnon- The Tombs of the Valleys of the Kings and the Queens – Mortuary Temple – The Tombs of the Nobles – The Tombs of Deir al-Madina.
About three kilometers from Luxor the vast monumental zone of Karnak stretches out, with its famous hypostyle hall of 134 columns 23 meters tall, the temple of Amon is the largest columned temple in the world. In the 19th Dynasty, more than 80,000 people including workers, priests, guardians and farmers worked on the temple of Amon
It lies parallel to the Nile River on the south end of the City of Luxor. The Temple of Luxor that was dedicated to the God of the Kingdom “Amun “, was founded by “Amenophis 3rd”, and completed by “Ramses 2. Originally in front of the entrance there were two Colossal statues of the King and two Obelisks, – one of which today decorates the place ” de la Concorde ” in Paris – In the Large Court that is surrounded by a colonnade of 74 Papyrus columns, a corridor is added also with colonnades. ” The façade of the Temple of Luxor with the statues, the Obelisks and the flag staffs in the niches of the Pylons are depicted on the West side of the entrance to the chamber with the colonnade. A court of 52×46 meters follows under whose surface a large warehouse was discovered a couple of years ago, in which 20 statues were buried. Since the beginning of 1992, they are exhibited in the Museum in Luxor. After crossing the Antechamber, whose roof is supported by 32 Columns and its walls are decorated with religious scenes, we enter the inner chamber of the temple. The first chamber was transformed by the Roman into a place where the emperor was worshiped. The most remote chamber towards the north and secondary chamber of the East side is the birth room of “Amenophis 3 “. It has interesting reliefs with scenes concerning the birth of the Pharaoh and his ascent to the throne, according to the divine tradition. In the middle the “God Khnum “with a head of a ram.
The Valley of the Queens
(Currently called”Biban el-Harim“ [The Gates of the Queens]). ”The Valley of the Queens” moves back into the desert, it’s about one and a half kilometers southwest “The Valley of the Kings “. There are 80 tombs cut in the cliffs that were used at the last residence of the queens, the Princess and of the Princesses. In most of the case their constructions resembles that of the Tombs of the Kings, but they are much poorer. Most do not have any decoration at all, others have wall – paintings and only a few are decorated with reliefs. There are not any presentations from the book of the dead in the Tombs of the Queens. The tomb with the most beautiful wall – paintings is that of “Nephertiti“, wife of “Ramses 2″.
Valley of the Kings
The tombs of the Valley of the Kings are all richly decorated. Often the deceased pharaoh was depicted with the gods protecting him as here where Ramses I is flanked by Horus on the left and Anubis on the right. The most famous in the entire Valley of the Kings is that of Tutankhamen where the splendid treasure, was found
Colossi of Memnon
The colossi of Memnon are all that remain of the mortuary temple of Amenophis III
The temple of Ramses III at Medenet Habu is one of the most perfect buildings that Egyptian art has left us. Depicted there, in the form of a vulture, is the goddess Nekhbet, who protected Upper Egypt and, symbolically, the entire grandiose temple complex.
The revolutionary concept employed by senmut, architect and prime minister of the queen Hashepsut. The temple consisted of series of vast terraces which, by means of ramps, moved up to the sanctuary.
Tombs in Luxor
Tombs of the Nobles:
Portraying the lives of nobles and their families.
The Tomb of Nakht:
The inscriptions portray the skill of the Egyptian artist.
The Tomb of Menna:
Scribe of the fields of the Two Lands. During the reign of Tuthmosis IV.
The Tomb of Ramose:
One of the state officials during the reign of Amenhotep III and Akhnaten. The tomb contains inscriptions depicting Akhnaten and his wife, Nefertiti