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Favorite thing: No doubts about, the whole complex of Karnak is amazing achievement of an extraordinary civilisation which excisted three of four thousands year ago. I always wonder what will left after us who live nowadays, could one modern skycraper survive after three of four Hundred years, I doubt it. If not by natural cause it will be demolished or dismanteld by some maniacs.....
Favorite thing: There is open space in between the 3rd and 4th Pylon where obelisk of Thutmose I stands. It is 21 meters tall and 150 tons of weighs. On the left of it, but actually situated in between 4th and 5th Pylon is obelisk of Hatshepsut, which is nearly 30 meters in height.
Hatshepsut had twin obelisks, at the time the tallest in the world. One obelisk still stands as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk in Egypt, the other was broken in two and toppled.
Fondest memory: This are my last saved pictures snaped in Karnak. As already explained in my intro of the page I have lost a very valuable memory card with pics from the Valley of Kings and the other pictures snaped in Karnak.
The Great Hypostyle Hall
Favorite thing: The Hypostyle Hall represented the middle section of the temple, it is in the heart of the Precinct of Amon-Ra and the most monumental part of the entire complex. It covers an area of 5000 square meters. The fallen massive rooftop was supported by 134 columns in 16 rows. It is noted for the density of columns but it was the only way that engineers of this time knew how to create large roofed space. The density of columns created a holy forest in which each column was decorated with fine carvings and paintings. The Hall were lit only through small windows high up on the walls and by torches. By ancient Egyptians the Hypostyle Hall was called "the resting place of the Lord of gods".
The Great Hyostyle Hall was begun by Seti I and completed by his son Ramesses II. The north side of the hall is decorated in raised relief and was mainly Seti I's work. The southern side was completed by Ramesses II in a sunk relief although he used raised relief at the very beginning of his reign. Ramesses II also usurped decorations of his father along the main north-south and east-west processional ways of the hall. The outer walls depicting scenes of battles from the life of both pharaohs and have documentary importants of that time.
The Temple of Ramesses III
Favorite thing: Usimare Ramesses III, also written Ramses or Rameses, was the second pharaoh of 20th dynasty and is considering to be the last one great and important king of the New Kingdom. Actually, he was the last pharaoh to wield any substantial authority over Egypt. It is believed that Ramesses III have reigned from 1186 to 1155 B.C.
During his long reign Egypt was beset by invaders, especially by so-called Sea-Peoples. It was also the period when Egypt experienced the beginnings of increasing economic difficulties. Ramesses III defeated Sea-Peoples in two great land and sea battles but he also compelled to fight invading Lybian tribes in two major campaigns. The heavy costs of these battles exhausted Egypt's treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Empire. These difficulties, however, didn't stop Ramesses III in building monuments many of which seek to emulate those of his famous predecessor, Ramesses II. Ramesses III built important additions ot the temples at Luxor and Karnak but most of additions have been dismantled for massive fortifications which were built enclose the latter. Prior to Ramesses III reign no Egyptian temple had eved needed to be protected by fortifications.
Across the court, in front of the Second Pylon, stands the temple of Ramesses III and is the only temple still standing in the whole of Egypt which was built on a homogeneous plan by a single monarch. The open court of the temple is surrounded by covered passages supported by eight square pillars each and with statues of Osiris in front of them.
The Second Pylon
Favorite thing: Almost every pharaoh of the dynasty added something to the temple site. Pharaohs were eager to leave behind marvellous testimonials of their reign.
Second Pylon was built by Horemheb but then Ramesses I usurped his reliefs and inscriptions on the pylon and added his own to them. These were later on usurped by Ramesses II. Horemheb filled the interior of the pylon towers with thousands of recycled blocks from dismantled monuments of his predecessors, especially talatat blocks from the monuments of Akhenaten, along with a temple of Tutankhamen and Ay.
It is not the entire truth that only invaders or robbers have demolished, robbed or dismantled the most ancient Egyptian culture, very important role in it had the successors of the thrones who were deliberately destroying works of their predecessors.
The Precinct of Amon-Ra
Favorite thing: The site of the temples is dedicated to the divine triad of Montu, Amon and Mut. Amon-Ra was the supreme Sun God, Mut was his wife and Montu was the warrior god. Karnak is composed of three temples each one consecrated to one of these gods.
Precinct of Amon-Ra is the largest of the precincts of the temple complex. It is dedicated to god Amon, the chief deity of the Theban triad. The temple of Amon-Ra started built pharaoh Senusret I (around 2000 B.C.) and finished by Ramesses II (1279-1213 B.C.).
The first pylon
Favorite thing: The temple complex of Karnak is a vast open-air museum and the largest ancient religious site in the world. Building at the complex began in the reign of pharaoh Sesostris I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, but most of the buildings date from from New Kingdom.
Approximately thirthy pharaohs contributed to the building of Karnak, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and beauty not seen elswhere. Area of Karnak was the main place of worshiping god Amon-Ra (Amun), "hidden god" as was called by Egyptians.
Pylon is the Greek term for a monumental gateway of a temple. It consists of two tapering towers each surmounted by a cornice.
Fondest memory: During 18th dynasty Thebes became the capital of the unified Egypt and it is the period when major construction works took place.
Favorite thing: Thebes is Greek name for ancient city which Egyptians call Tibah. The city was located at the east bank of the Nile, within the modern town of Luxor, while the Theban Necropolis is situated on the west bank of the river. Thebes have very long history, the town was inhabited from around 3200 B.C.
Karnak is part of the monumental city of Thebes, actually it is its northen part while Luxor is its southern part.
Thebes was known in the Egyptian language as "the City of Amon", referring to the deity Amon-Ra. Greeks called it Diospolis or by surname "megale" (the Great), to differentiate if from numerous other cities also called Diospolis. The Romans rendered the name Diospolis Magna.
Fondest memory: In 323 A.D. Constantine the Great recognized the Christian religion, and in 356 Constantius II ordered the closing of pagan temples throughout the empire. By this time Karnak was mostly abandoned.
The exact location of Thebes was unknown in Medieval Europe. The Karnak temple complex is first described by an unknown Venetian in 1589, although he didn't relates no name for the complex.
The new sound and light show in the karnak
Favorite thing: Based on the available informations after collecting the views of the audience about sound and light show in the karnak , the show has been developed and become more interested also the duration has been reduced. The light , seats and sound system has been developed also the form of the show has been changed without changing his historical content. Tourists from all over the world liked the new show also all the heads of the states and all the heads of ministries who visited luxor and attended the show were admired by it .
Misr company for sound , light and cinema
advertising and promotion management,
The Illustrated Guide to Luxor
Favorite thing: We've bought The Illustrated Guide to Luxor by Kent R. Weeks (The American University on Caïro Press) and are very satisfied with it. It has background information, tours, tips and ... very good illustrations. It contains enough information to plan, look at sites and read it again and again when you're home ('sigh') again. It contains descriptions of Karnak, Luxor temple, the valley and many of the monuments. We paid Egyptian pounds 150 in the bookshop near the Winterpalace in Luxor. Worth every piaster.
ISBN 9789774248009 See: www.aucpress.com
Fondest memory: Karnak temple, the small temple of Ptah (found it thanks to the guide)
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: Although most of Karnak has been thoroughly excavated, the temple still conceals and occasionally reveals more of the Pharaohs' secrets and mysteries.
After being buried for nearly 3,600 years in the temple ruins, a statue of Neferhotep, whose name means "beautiful and good", was lately uncovered by archaeologists from the Centre Franco-Egyptien D'Étude des Temples de Karnak in a niche 1.5m below the foundation pit of Hatshepsut's obelisk at the Wadjyt hall. It is a life-sized statue of the Pharaoh in the customary royal striding position, wearing the royal head-cloth nemes and holding a mace in one hand. The forehead bears an emblem of a cobra, which Ancient Egyptians used as a symbol on the crown of their Pharaohs. They believed that the cobra would spit fire at approaching enemies.
The second half of the statue is still buried in sand and waiting to be unearthed, but according to archaeologists there are several obstacles to be overcome. Lifting out the dyad would be a critical operation requiring accuracy and specialised techniques.
Egyptologists are divided into two groups; Some think that this is a unique statue of a Pharaoh who has few representations, as well as its being a valuable addition to the overwhelming number of monuments at Karnak Temple. On the opposing side are others fear an unpredictable disaster that might lead to major damage to the obelisk or the portico.
A professional committee of French and Egyptian architects, archaeologists and restorers has been assigned, to discuss the issue and decide on a solution. "We cannot remove a whole temple to unearth a statue."
Heat, hassle and holidays......ahhhh
Favorite thing: Dont bother with the karnak light show.....it is long and boring and you cant see much of the temple.
The valley of the kings is a must and can easily be organised by yourself, dont pay reps prices.
Luxor is quieter than cairo, almost peaceful.
Do try to get to Cairo to see the pyramids and sphrinx and dont miss out on the very large, very hot and very cluttered cairo museum. It will make you appreciate Luxor even more when you return.
Fondest memory: A day trip to the red sea and taking a boat out to a coral island. learnt to snorkle with the whippet thin guide in shallow water. (im a full figured woman and it is not easy to snorkle and hold your stomach in to avoid the razor sharp coral...!)
A wonderful lunch of fish, rice and fresh cucumber, tomatoes and melon served on the boat then back for a couple more hours swimming.
It s a 3 hour drive through the desert, stopping once for a 5LE loo break and a drink.
The best bit was coming back with the sun setting over the rocks and my sunburn screaming.....my own fault. Dont forget the factor 100 next time...
Karnak and the stars
Fondest memory: One thing I will always remember is when we visited the Karnak temple in nighttime for the sound and light-show. Now, the show itself was an uninteresting and expensive rip-off, in my opinion. What was so great about the visit was a completely different thing. We were there well ahead of time, and before the thing started I wanted to visit the restrooms. This was arranged, and I ended up walking alongside one guide through the temple. It was dark, the stone structures mounting high around us only lit up by a myriad of shining stars. No one was around. I couldnt help but drift away, and wonder if this was how it felt for the people working in the temple thousands of years ago, and knowing that the sky that looked down on them was the same that lighted our way. Shivers run down your spine, I can assure you.
Karnak and the stars
Fondest memory: One thing I will always remember is when we visited the Karnak temple in nighttime for the sound and light-show. Now, the show itself was an uninteresting and expensive rip-off, in my opinion. What was so great about the visit was a completely different thing. We were there well ahead of time, and before the thing started I wanted to visit the restrooms. This was arranged, and I ended up walking alongside one guide through the temple. It was dast, the stone structures mounting high around us only lit up by a myriad of shining stars. No one was around. I couldnt help but drift away, and wonder if this was how it felt for the people working in the temple thousands of years ago, and knowing that the sky that looked down on them was the same that lighted our way. Shivers run down your spine, I can assure you.
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