Luxor Temple which was once joined to the Temples of Karnak by a two-kilometer long Avenue of Sphinx, a portion of which marks the entrance to the temple. Dominated by statues of the great warrior pharaoh Ramses II, Luxor Temple has survived Nile floods, foreign invasion and thousands of years exposed to the elements.
A pure Egyptian temple, the inner walls and columns are decorated with intricate hieroglyphics which your guide will help you decipher. Find out how Alexander the Great wrote himself into Luxor Temple's history, and see one of the original pair of obelisk, the second of which now stands on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
On the day I went to the Luxor Temple, mistakenly I thoguht the mosque on the site which is near the town square was the entrance. So entered. Not only that, because I was trying to avoid this tout driver who kept following me and offering his private car tour service, he was so annoying like he followed me for like 15 minutes, so to avoid him, I immediately entered this mosque.
There was a tomb housed in a modest structure right after the entrace. Local enter and offer prayers in front of the tomb. I'm not sure, so please correct me if I'm wrong -- Al-Hajjaj was the controversial Arab administrator and politician of the Umayyad caliphate. See wikipedia for the complete story of the Sufi Sheikh.
The Mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu al-Hajjaj is in fact built over the ruins of the temple of Luxor. WHen they dicovered and unearthed the reliefs of the temple, they did not touch the mosque, it was preserved and still is a working mosque.
I entered inside and I feel like it's a combination of ancient Egypt - with structures part of the temple with inscriptions at some walls - and Islamic history.
I even went inside the mosque, it's not that big, and it has a village mosque feeling to it. The old man who I supposed is the caretaker of the mosque talked to the tout driver, cuz I told the old man that I don't need a driver and I don't know him. Good riddance, right?
The mosque became a part of the whole Luxor temple sight.
Well, if hollywood have their avenue of the stars, Luxor has their avenue of the sphinxes.. is that really necessary?
I saw these several sphinxes lining up near the hotel I was staying, and just few meters from the first pylon (main gateway)) of Luxor Temple. It was also the view on the rooftop breakfast hall of our hotel.
The avenue of the sphinxes used to be a path of the procession and connect the Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temple. A statue of sphinxes with human head, built during the time of Nectanebo so the face wearing a headress with a cobra, most probably resembles him. It's 2.5 km long line-up of sphinxes of same sizes and shapes.
At present, there are only 34 sphinxes on the west side and 38 on the east side, others may have been buried under the building structures of modern Luxor.
After the court of Amonhotep III, you'll be stepping into a chamber -- the chapel of Alexander the Great. There was some work going on the wall when I was there. And just behind it are the sanctuary chambers of the temple and the birth shrine of Amenhotep III.
Measuring 148 feet long (45 m) by 184 feet wide (56 m), the Court of Amonhotep III is the big courtyard you will see after passing by the tall collonades. The court has double rows of papyrus columns on 3 sides.
The court is right after you pass by the prominently tall colonnade and the elevated walkway. There's a hypostyle hall with 32 papyrus columns arranged in 4 rows of 8 columns and at the rear are 4 rooms and an antechamber leading to the birth room, chapel of Alexander the Great and the sanctuary.
Upon passing the main pylon gate, you'll be passing by the backside of the mosque of Abu'l Hajjaj and immediately you'll see the very impressive Court of Rameses II. The court measures 188 ft. long X 168 ft. wide.
It features 74 papyrus columns with bud capitals and in the Northwest corner of the court there is a shrine to Thutmose III, while in the southern part of the court there are a number of standing colossi of Ramses II.
Go on, click the next tip for the --- Colonnade of Amenhotep III
Right after passing by the Court of Ramses II, you'll be parading along the towering and impressive tall columns on both sides called the Colonnade of Amenhotep III. The collonade stands 7 pairs of 52 ft. high papyrus columns which still support their huge architrave blocks.
The reliefs on the walls of the hall bear the names of Tutankhamun, Horemheb, Seti I, Rameses II and Seti II.
Tutankhamun decorated the eastern walls but Horemheb later erased the name of the boy king, and inscribed his own.
Go on to the next tip for the --- Court of Amonhotep III.
Founded in 1400BC, the Luxor Temple is located in the east bank of Luxor - ancient Thebes - just beside the Nile River. I'm trying to avoid cutting and pasting info, so read it at Wikipedia, here: Luxor Temple
The temple is beside the hotel I was staying at (Nefertiti Hotel) so no sweat. I woke up early in the morning to avoid too much tourists swarming the area, though of course there are already some bunch of visitors inside but it's not that much. As I was looking for the entrance, the military guards pointed to me the way, you'll find it at the back of the big mosque right near the town square where families congregate and have picnics during evenings.
The Luxor Temple is the first sight that gave me real goosebumps, the columns are amazing and conditions of the statues, collosus, the columns, pylons, the peristyle court, the wall inscriptions -- they are in really good condition and walking along the temple gives you the feel of the place, the ancient feel that is, and you'll start to wonder how these stuff were brought about. How the ancient egyptians did such marvelous temple -- not only the laborious work but also the amount of artistry and intelligence.
I finished my Luxor temple visit walking along the avenue of the Sphinx before taking a caleche to the Karnak Temple by noontime.
This temple of Amun was built mainly by two of the most famous pharaohs - Amenhotep III (1390 - 1352 BC) and Rameses II (1279 - 1213 BC). It was added to by Tutankhamun. The avenue of sphinxes once reached all the way to Karnak. The pair of the remaining obelisk now stands in Paris. The entrance originally had six colossi - two of Rameses II sitting on his throne. Two more of Rameses II, seated on black granite thrones, guard the entrance to the collonade of Amenhotep III. The thrones bear the carvings of the god Thoth and his wife the godess Seshat, both gods of learning and writing.
Horse drawn carriage rides are a popular mode of transport to and from the temple.
Even though this temple is not as large as Karnak I found it more interesting and just as magnificent.
Luxor Temple is know as "Ipet Resyt" or Southern Sanctuary. Luxor Temple was built during the New Kingdom 1570-1293 B.C. and was used during the annual Opet Festival.
The earliest parts of Luxor Temple that still stand just behind the 1st Pylon were built by Hatshepsut they were then discredited and later defaced by her step-son Tuthmosis III. The main part of the colonnade and suncourt were built by Amenhotep III, (King Tutankhamun's grandfather). Later an addition was added by Ramses II, who built the entrance and the two obelisks, the missing obelisk in fron was given as a gift to France.
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