The Karnak temple is the largest in Egypt. It's absolutely amazing, and was never finished. Today there are many well-preserved remains, like the pylon, several obelisks, the enormous room with more than 100 columns and even the popular beetle, whose legend says you need to circle it a few times to give yourself good luck. Strolling through the ruins, along with many people, it's hallucinating to think about what it would be like in full bloom. It's connected to the Temple of Luxor by a 3 kilometre path, which made this area (ancient Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt) truly important in ancient Egypt's history.
The Luxor Temple, positioned in the heart of ancient Thebes, was built mainly during the XVIII and XIX Egyptian dynasties. It was dedicated to the god Amon under his two representations of Amun-Ra. The oldest parts date back to the currently visible Amenhotep III and Ramses II building. Then, new elements were added by Shabako, Nectanebo I and the Ptolemaic dynasty. In Roman times, the temple was partially transformed into a military camp. This building, one of the best preserved of the Egyptian New Kingdom time, still has many structures. Besides the great pylon, visitors can also go through two monumental colonnades and linking these the two patios. The sanctuary itself, which was residence of Amun of Opet, are similar to the rooms that retain much of their tiles. It is a really magical place, especially at night when you should not miss the Sound and Light show.
Situated near the temple of Ramses III is where you'll find the giants of Memmon. They consist of two huge statues that are the remains of what was then one of the most important temples in the western bank of the Nile. According to legend, in ancient times the temple was destroyed by an earthquake as one of the giants came out of a crack the wind was blowing through, and it sounded a celestial melody that was considered to be a miracle. When the sculpture was restored, that melody was lost in time.
It was the first of the great temples we visited in Egypt and, maybe because of this, or perhaps because of its good condition, this place impacted me a lot. It has a huge pylon which overwhelms you on sight. Inside you can find remains of bas-reliefs with gorgeous scenes. He was also one of the temples we visited with fewer people, so the visit was really interesting.
In my visit to the Valley of the Kings I was able to enter three tombs. It is a wonder to enter and see the paintings, sarcophagi and other things. I didn't visit Tutankhamun's tomb because the entrance was about € 18 I think and the guide told us it was the least prepared, that we had seen were much nicer.
Sailing from Luxor to Edfu, I could get see one of the best sunsets, in the Nile River country of my dreams. It was a wonderful experience behind the camera I could see the sun little by little without damaging my eyes. Each time I see it I want to go back to that trip. For me, it was "the journey" of my life, I'm in love with Egypt and wanted to go when I was a child and finally my dream came true.
Within the Valley of the Kings, the most interesting thing is Tutankhamun's tomb. Although it is now empty ,because everything is now in the Cairo Museum, it is the only ancient tomb that was discovered without being sacked throughout history. This was historically significant because he died very young, and has become the most famous of all. THE tomb was found by Carter in 1922 following an obsession that led him to live and not just leave right next to get it.
The typical store where the guides take you for their commission and to enjoy refreshments. True, this was quite charming and the products they sold were of sufficient quality. There were people working there and it looked like alabaster. Of course, being good materials, prices were also quite expensive. At least it was good money.
To really know a country so different from yours you should take time to stroll through the streets and see first-hand how they live. In Luxor, you could really see firsthand the kindness and friendliness of the people, ve salute you without knowing you, and the joy and innocence of children playing in the street.
In order to cross the Nile in the south of Egypt, besides the bridges for road traffic, there is a fairly quick and easy way by boat. The boat ride takes you from one side to another very quickly. We crossed from the western shore, from the giants of Memmon, to the temple of Luxor. It took a few minutes.
Tombs of the great dignitaries are in this valley. The themes illustrated on the tombs depict scenes from the life of the deceased. The chambers are normally dug four meters from the surface and are preceded by open concourses and steep stairs which descend into the rock.
This is the valley of craftsmen and artisans. There are small, but fully furnished tombs here which belonged to artisans, workers and artists ve built the tombs of Thebes. It is known as Deir el-Medina. Outside the town you can find the ruins perfectly structured streets and houses.
The Valley of the Queens, also known com Biban el-Harim, is near the valley of the artisans, Deir el-Medina. Here, there are 80 graves which are mostly in good condition. The most important tombs are the tombs of the wife and three sons of Ramses III, who died young.
The word Khepra, meaning beetle, was one of the most powerful symbols in ancient Egypt. This was regarded as a symbol of perfection, as it is both male and female: you don't need a pair to breed. Khepra symbolises God, and was said to push the sun as easily as if it were a giant ball of dung. The beetle is associated with the idea of resurrection, and can often be seen on pieces of jewelry found in Egyptian tombs, symbolising a long and happy life.
The modern city of Luxor stands on the western shore of the Nile River. Like any important Egyptian city, many of the most popular Luxor attractions are the oldest things in the city. You'll find here the ruins of temples dedicated to the god Amun and get a taste of ancient Egypt.
Luxor Temple, one of the major attractions in Luxor, was built by the Pharaohs Amenhotep III and Ramses II. It is 260 meters long and has several shrines, a large patio, an atrium, a birth chamber and a processional colonnade. It also contains a mosque that is still in operation today, showing how the stuff to do in Luxor mixes the ancient with the more modern.
An avenue flanked by sphinxes connects the Temple of Luxor with the Temple of Karnak, the largest complex of ancient Egyptian architecture and one of the most essential things to do in Luxor. Do not miss their great hypostyle hall: 102 meters wide, 53 meters deep and with 134 columns, each 23 meters tall.
Crossing the Nile will answer the question of what to do in Luxor after you've already seen everything on the west of the river! The Theban Necropolis consists of the Valley of the Kings, where total of 64 tombs have been discovered. Here is of course one of the most famous places to visit in Luxor, Tutankhamun's Tomb. You'll also find the Valley of the Queens, designed for important royal wives. The temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon are other things to see in Luxor. And after all of that, one of the best Luxor activities to learn about the legacy of Egyptian pharaohs is a visit to the Luxor Museum or the Mummification Museum.
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