Luxor Governorate is Located Southern Egypt, 670 KM south of Cairo, 220 KM north of Aswan. Luxor has often been called the world’s greatest open air museum, as indeed it is and much more. The number and preservation of the monuments in the Luxor area are unparalleled anywhere else in the world. To say that the Luxor area is a major attraction for tourists in Egypt would be an understatement. It has been a tourist destination since the beginning of tourism. Even in ancient times, during the late Dynasties of the Greek and Roman periods, the area drew tourists, and has been doing so ever since.The Luxor area of Upper Egypt was the Thebes of the ancient Egyptians – the capital of Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms. Today it is famous for its temples. Next to Cairo, this is the city holding the most impressive Pharaonic monuments. And they’re bountiful too. Valley of the Kings, the Theban Necropolis and Karnak are all a few miles away from the city of Luxor.

The temple of Luxor & Karnak, In the center of town you will find the Temple of Luxor , and the enormous Temple of Karnak. Luxor Temple, built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II, was dedicated to Amun-Ra, whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually, when the sacred procession moved by boat from Karnak to Luxor Temple. Karnak Temple includes many singular temples, dedicated to Amun, his wife (Mut), and their son (Khonsu), the moon deity. The temple starts with the avenue of the Rams, representing Amun: symbol of fertility and growth.

The Colossi of Memnon, In the 18th dynasty, Amenhotep III built a mortuary temple in Thebes that was guarded by two gigantic statues on the outer gates. All that remains now are those two statues of Amenhotep. They were named the “Colossi of Memnon” by the Greeks for the legendary hero of the Trojan War. Nature has damaged the statues but the impact is still impressive. They are hewn from single sandstone block measuring 20 meters high.

The Temple of Luxor was built mainly by Amenhotep II and Ramses II. The Temple was the focal point for rituals and festivals.One of the most important festivals celebrated there was the festival of Opet. During the 18th dynasty the festival lasted for a period of 11 days but by the 20th dynasty it lasted 27 days. The procession of images of the current royal family began at Karnak and ended at the temple of Luxor. By the late 18th Dynasty the journey was being made by barge, on the Nile River. The Temple of Luxor has a great pylon with carved episodes from the Battle of Kadesh when Ramses defeated the Hittites. There is the one red granite obelisk (a twin one is now at the Place de la Concorde in Paris).

The valley of the kings, The king’s formal names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues. Beginning with the 18th Dynasty and ending with the 20th, the kings abandoned Memphis and begun building their tombs in Thebes . Most tombs were cut into the limestone and constructed with three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, and texts in the tombs are from the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Gates and the Book of the Underworld. Nearly all the tombs were robbed. Luckily, the priests collected and hid some of the mummies which have survived until now.

The temple of Queen Hatshepsut, The mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut is one of the most famous in the world. The queen’s architect, Senenmut, designed it. There was a tree lined avenue of sphinxes that led up to the temple with ramps leading from terrace to terrace. Reliefs on the south side of the middle terrace show the queen’s expedition down the Red Sea to Punt. Along the front of the upper terrace is a series of Orisis statues.
The valley of the Queens, Here, are between 75 and 80 tombs in the Valley of the Queens (Princes and Princesses) who belonged to the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties. The tombs are decorated only with paintings (no reliefs have been found). The walls of the tombs were covered with Nile mud and then the entire surface was whitewashed in preparation for the painting. The colors are vivid!

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