Nowhere else in the world has such wealth of antiquities of mankind been preserved as it has been in Luxor. This ancient city is part of old “Thebes the Hundred Gates” which welcomed visitors from all the countries of the ancient world. Having conquered Egypt, the Arabs bemused by its tall buildings and impressive temples called it “El Kusour” meaning “The Castles”. Located 670 km south of Cairo, Luxor still attracts thousands of visitors, from east and west alike who come to admire its vestiges. Each step they take covers a historic era, each stone recalls a legend.Named by the Greek poet Homer “Thebes the Thousand Gates”, Luxor was the centre of power for almost 1500 years. Luxor which means in Arabic “The Palaces” reflects its rich array of magnificent temples and tombs. Within the confines of Luxor are some of the grandest monuments of the ancient world. On the East Bank are the splendid temples of Luxor and Karnak besides the Luxor Museum, which houses an impressive collection of local antiquities. An overwhelming array of complex gateways, ruined temples, ancient chapels, gigantic columns and extraordinary tribute to the ancient Egyptians. On the West Bank, is the Valley of Kings and Valley of Queens, another profusion of historic and artistic wealth.
Antiquities in Luxor on the Eastern Bank
The Temple of Luxor
It has huge papyrus columns and was dedicated to the god Amun. One of its striking aspects are the remains of an ancient Christian Church and Abu Haggag Mosque. Three religions represented in one place.
The Temples of Karnak
They consist of several temples of great beauty, 3 km north of the temple of Luxor. The two temples, in the past, were linked by an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes. The important temples in Karnak are the temples of the god Amun, his wife the goddess Mut, their son Khonsy the god of the Moon and of Ptah. Other significant landmarks are the Sacred Lake, the Hypostyle Hall, and some colossal statues.
Monuments on the Western Bank
The visitors cross the Nile in a ferry boat to get to the West Bank where motor-coaches or taxis await to take them to the “City of the Dead” where “the Valley of Kings”, “the Valley of Queens” and the tombs of “the Nobles” are found. It was there that the fabulous treasures of Tutankhamon which dazzled the world, were discovered.At the foot of the cliff, lie Deir El Bahari, the Rameseum Temple and Medinet Habu and amidst green fields, stand the two colossal statues of Memnon.
The most important tombs in the Valley of the Kings are:
- The tomb of Tutankhamon.- The tomb of Seti I- The tomb of Amenhotep II- The tomb of Amenophis II- The tomb of Ramses II- The tomb of Ramses III- The tomb of Ramses IV- The tomb of Horemheb- The tomb of Toutmosis III
The most important tombs in the Valley of the Queens are:
- The tomb of Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II- The tomb of Queen Tity
The most important tombs of the Nobles are those of:
- Nakht - Menna - Rekhmire - Ra - Ramose - Sennefer and many others.
Important Sites
In addition to such breathtaking monuments, Luxor is also a starting point to get to Qena and to visit other monuments such as:- The Dendera Temple: Ptolemy III started its construction and it was completed in the Roman era. The zodiac is clearly depicted in the temple.One may get to the temple by car from Qena or by boat.- The Temple of Esna: It rises in Esna, south of Luxor, on the West Bank of the Nile and one may get there by car or train.
Half Day Excursion on the East Bank
In an unforgettable excursion, visitors drive to the Luxor Temple, built by two kings, Amenophis III and Ramses II. After touring the temple, visitors travel along an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, extending for about 2 miles, which link the Luxor Temple with the Karnak Temple, the main centre of worship in ancient Egypt. No site in the world makes a more overwhelming and lasting impression than this “Temple of Temples”.
Half Day Excursion on the West Bank
For a tour of the West Bank, visitors cross the Nile from Luxor by ferry. There, they visit the Valley of Kings, which includes the tombs of the Theba rulers, Seti I and Tutankhamon. Next, they tour the mortuary Temple of Hatchepsut, the only Pharaonic woman who reigned ancient Egypt.Full Day Excursion on the West Bank
This full day excursion includes all the sites visited in the East Tour, plus a visit of the Valley of Queens and Tombs of the Nobles; similar to the Valley of Kings but less grandiose. Also included in this excursion are visits to the mortuary temple of Medinet Habu, erected by and for Ramses II.
Half Day Excursion to Dendera
Hathor, the ancient Egyptian goddess of love and joy was what Aphrodite was to the Greeks and Romans. It was at Dendera, some 30 miles North of Luxor, that the Egyptians worshipped Hathor in a temple which is exceptionally well-preserved.
Luxor Museum
The Luxor Museum lies on the East Bank and contains an important collection of Egyptian antiquities from the Upper Egyptian kingdoms.
Sound & Light Show at Karnak
The history and drama of the Temple of Karnak are presented every evening in an unforgettable show at the huge complex of Karnak. English language shows are held everyday. French shows also are everyday except Tuesday. German shows are on Wednesday and Sunday. Italian shows are on Tuesday and Saturday. Spanish show
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