Luxor – the ancient capital of Egypt and its main attractions

Luxor Attractions

Nile River Temple of Queen Hatshepsut Karnak Temple of Luxor Temple of Hatshepsut The Sphinxes Alley

This site contains Luxor sights – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you can find answers to questions: what to see in Luxor, where to go, and where are the popular and interesting places of Luxor.

Nile River

Nile River (photo)

The Nile River is the longest river in the world, flowing over 6,400 kilometers from its source deep in the heart of Africa and flowing into the Mediterranean Sea.

Especially picturesque is the eastern bank of the Nile, where Luxor is located. Here temples were built to protect the inhabitants of Luxor from the dark forces from the Valley of the Kings on the opposite shore, and on the west bank – structures to honor the deceased rulers.

Sailing on a beautifully painted boat you can admire the Luxor shores of the Nile, where, unlike other places – there are no crocodiles. And if you want you can ride the river through all of Egypt from south to north, not even believing that 95 percent of Egypt is desert.

Coordinates: 25.69219800,32.63144000

The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

The temple of queen Hatshepsut (photo)

The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is located in Luxor, Egypt, at the foot of the Deir el-Bahri cliffs. Luxurious, majestic temple, built to bury the soul of the first and only woman pharaoh in the history of ancient Egypt was not only a concentration of luxury and elegance, but also served as a repository of secrets, many of which are not solved to this day.

The reign of the queen was in 1525-1503 BC. Construction of the temple began during the life of Hatshepsut, as was the custom at the time. 22 years of her reign in Egypt, there was an active construction, was equipped with an expedition to the distant country of Punt. It was a good, peaceful time for the Egyptians, and they glorified and honored their queen in numerous statues.

The temple is striking in its splendor. Stop, close your eyes and imagine – from the mighty Nile to the temple leads the alley of Sphinxes, the temple itself consists of three terraces, on which overflow, play in the sun the purest of ponds. All around is buried in the green trees, you can hear the birds of paradise singing, and the scents and incredible beauty of plants and flowers take your breath away. The temple seems to have been carved in rock, decorated with statues of Hatshepsut in the guise of Osiris, with reliefs, the walls covered with rich paintings, and above all this splendor stands the head of the goddess Hathor, carved in stone.

Coordinates: 25.72908600,32.62991000

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Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple (photo)

The Karnak Temple is one of the most amazing and ancient religious complexes in the world. The temple was built in honor of the god Amon-Ra and his wife Mut in the 16th century BC, its construction lasted for more than 1000 years.

About 30 pharaohs contributed to the development of the complex, adding new temples and other facilities .making the temple an area of 80 hectares. Although the temple has suffered considerable destruction over time, it has not become any less majestic. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest open-air museum in the world. The complex includes several temples, statues and a ‘botanical garden’. – open courtyard, the walls of which depict plants and exotic animals. In the depths of the complex you can see a huge obelisk of red granite 35 meters high. Also on the territory is a sacred lake, with which many stories and rituals. In addition, every night there is a light show where you can learn the history of Egypt’s oldest religious center.

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Coordinates: 25.71958500,32.65578700

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Luxor Temple

Luxor temple (photo)

The Luxor Temple is the greatest architectural creation of ancient Egyptian civilization, erected in honor of the god Amon, also known as Ra.

The temple is famous for the beauty of its reliefs covering the walls of its buildings: reliefs depicting the battle of Rameses at Kadesh, the walls of the processional colonnade under Tutankhamun were decorated with scenes of the festival of Opeth, the inner rooms are covered with scenes from the era of Amenhotep III.

Speaking of the Feast of Opeth. Its holding was one of the main functions of the temple. During the festival the priests carried the three sacred rooks of Amon, Mut and Khonsu from the Karnak Temple and performed secret rituals dedicated to the harvest festival.

Coordinates : 25.69985500,32.63943000

Luxor Temple

Luxor temple (photo)

Located on the right bank of the Nile, the Luxor temple is the ruins of the central sanctuary of Amon-Ra. This monumental temple, dedicated to the gods Amon, Khonsu and Mut, is a striking example of New Kingdom architecture from the 16th to 11th centuries BC. The grandiose structure is admirable in its scale, solemnity, harmony, and beauty.

The temple is connected with the Karnak Temple by a 3-kilometer long avenue of Sphinxes.

The oldest part of the shrine with the halls, which are decorated with inscriptions and monumental bas-reliefs, was founded during the reign of Amenhotep III. Then the kings of the 9th dynasty added a courtyard with a colonnade and sculptures of the pharaohs. Then Ramses the Great added a pylon depicting scenes of his military exploits. Four columns and an obelisk decorate the northern entrance of the building.

Coordinates: 25.68390300,32.62844000

Hatshepsut Temple

The temple of Hatshepsut (photo)

The Hatshepsut Temple was built during 1482-1473 BC. The architect of the magnificent structure with the grandiose colonnade was Senmut. This semi-colonial temple stands out for its size and number of decorations among all similar structures of ancient Egypt.

Three vast terraces, rising one above the other, are decorated with magnificent porticoes with white limestone columns and brightly painted pilasters. Most of the colossal statues and sphinxes of the temple are now in Cairo and New York museums. There are elaborate reliefs on the walls of the structure, illustrating the main events of Hatshepsut’s reign.

The lower terrace, which is the temple courtyard, is surrounded by a wall which is decorated with stone figures of falcons. The sanctuaries of Hathor and Anubis, situated on the sides of the second terrace, are 12-column hypostyle halls. The upper terrace is dedicated to the main Egyptian gods and the queen herself, whose sanctuary is carved into the rock.

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Coordinates : 25.73805500,32.60656400

Hatshepsut Temple

The temple of Hatshepsut (photo)

The Hatshepsut Temple, a luxurious architectural complex dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, sits at the foot of the Deir el-Bahri cliffs. The appearance of a female pharaoh in the succession of rulers in Egypt is a very unusual event, which is why the structure and location of the temple are very unusual.

In ancient times, the funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut was called differently – Jeser Jeseru, which translates as “The most sacred of the sacred. Its construction lasted for nine years.

In addition to Hatshepsut herself, the complex at Deir el-Bahri was dedicated to Amun-Ra, the ruler’s father Thutmose I, elevated to the rank of deity, as well as Anubis, the guide to the afterlife, and the great protector of the dead, Hathor Imentet. The temple once had a lush garden, with exotic trees, shrubs and small pools.

The unique reliefs of the temple, made by skilled craftsmen, recount the main stages of the reign of this great, energetic and talented woman.

Coordinates: 25.73823600,32.60667900

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Sphinx Alley

Sphinx Alley (photo)

The Alley of Sphinxes, connecting the Luxor and Karnak temples, is located on the west bank of the Nile, near the ruins of Pharaoh Amenhotep’s country palace, the “House of Jubilation”. On both sides of the avenue are placed 1350 statues of sphinxes made of pink granite – figures with lion bodies and ram’s heads.

The construction of the alley length of about 3 kilometers dates back to the reign of Pharaoh Nektenebo – about the 12th century BC. It was once a gathering place for priests during religious festivals. The modern restoration of this badly damaged unique historical monument was recently completed. Today it is a huge open archaeological museum.

Coordinates: 25.68113700,32.64304200

The most popular attractions in Luxor with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Luxor on our website.

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Luxor – Egypt sights

Luxor is a true gem and the most famous tourist center of Egypt.

The small city on the right bank of the Nile, 500 km south of Cairo was once the famous capital of Ancient Egypt.

It is a global center of archaeology, and there is no other city in the world, which would be concentrated such a huge number of ancient monuments.

Yes, it was in Luxor was once the colossal capital of the ancient Egyptian state, which the ancient Egyptians called Uaset, the Greeks called Thebes, and the Arabs called al-Uksur – “palaces. The ancient Thebans themselves often referred to their homeland in texts simply as Nyut, or “City”.

The current Luxor is a city of about 376,000 people (Arabs, Copts), where you can visit not only the attractions of Archaeology, but also entertainment places restaurants, museums, etc. Luxor has an international airport.

For most travels on the Nile, Luxor is the starting or ending point.

Many travelers say that he who has been to Egypt, has not visited Luxor, has not seen the most important thing.

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Where else on earth so tangibly hovers the spirit of the largest archaeological discoveries, and about any other city in the XVIII – XIX centuries was written so many volumes of travel notes and “novels of travel.

Here is extremely strong sense of the ancient Egyptian land, and as if come to life stories and legends, because literally under every house of the city – the foundations of ancient temples and palaces, alleys of sphinxes and fragments of statues.

All new findings of archaeologists are exhibited in the Luxor Museum of Antiquities, the one that opened in 1975.

The abundance of monuments of ancient Egyptian architecture ensures that hundreds of thousands of travelers visit Luxor every year. Luxor is conventionally divided into two parts: “City of the Living” and “City of the Dead.”

The 1st part is a residential area on the right bank of the Nile River.

There are local hotels (with well-developed restaurant business), most of which are located between the railway station and the Luxor Temple.

The main attractions on the right bank are the temple of Amon-Ra at Karnak and the Luxor temple itself.

The “City of the Dead” is located on the other side of the Nile.

There are few settlements and the famous Theban necropolis, including the Valley of the Kings (KV), the Valley of the Queens (QV), the funerary temples of Medinet Abu, queen Hatshepsut, Ramesseum.

In ancient times Thebes was located on both banks of the Nile.

On the east – the two colossal temples – Karnak and Luxor, united by alleys of sphinxes. Grandiose temple complexes were adjacent to exquisite palaces, houses of the nobility, gardens of rare trees and artificial lakes.

The azure sky was pierced by the gilded needles of obelisks, the tops of painted pylon temple towers and the grandiose statues of kings. Through the lush greenery of tamarisk, sycamore, and date palms peered the turquoise-green faience-tiled windowpanes of the rich houses.

The conquered peoples of Syria-Palestine brought here innumerable vessels of wine, skins, semi-precious lapis lazuli, so beloved by the Egyptians, and works of handicraft; from the distant regions of Africa came caravans loaded with ivory, ebony, incense, and gold.

On the other side of the Nile, in the western part of Thebes, was the royal residence and a huge necropolis situated in an amphitheater of rocks, above which rises Dehenet – “the Western Peak”, now called el-Kurn. According to legends, the serpent goddess Meretseger, the “silent-loving” ruler of the mountain, guarded not only the royal tombs located in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens but also the tombs of the nobles and ordinary citizens.

Huge statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, which history has called the Colossi of Memnon, greet every tourist on the border of green wheat fields and the lifeless sands of the desert.

They once towered in front of the giant memorial complex of this lord, alas, which has not withstood the battle of time. Other famous royal funerary temples are located nearby – the Ramesseum dedicated to the memory of Ramses II the Great, the complex of Ramses III at Medinet Abu, the Temple of Seti I at Kurna and, of course, the terrace temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri.

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In Luxor, on the west coast, among the impregnable, sun-burned rocks, was Deir el-Medineh, a small village where workers and artists lived, carving tombs of kings and nobles in the rocks.

The embalmers, temple scribes, and peasants lived nearby. The “city of the living”, located on the eastern bank of the Nile, and the “city of the dead”, usually for Egyptians located in the west, were inseparable parts of the great Theban state of the clear “king of the gods” Amon-Ra, his heavenly consort Mut and their lunar son Honsu.

The history of Thebes goes back to the darkness of centuries: the first mentions of the city have been preserved in texts dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. However, the splendid blossom of the city was preceded by a long history. In the 21st century BC it for the first time became the capital for a short time under the XI dynasty of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs.

It was during this era that Thebes began vigorously building monumental shrines to the gods and dead kings. With the beginning of the New Kingdom, in the 16th century BC, the city began a period of maximum prosperity. Even centuries later, in Greco-Roman times, when the capital was moved to Alexandria, Thebes retained its role as Egypt’s major cultural and religious center.

The unique monuments of ancient art found in the city and related to all stages of its history can be seen in the fascinating exhibitions of the Egyptian Museum, the Luxor Museum and the Museum of Mummification. However, all of Luxor is a stunning and unique open-air museum, where centuries and eras, lords and cultures harmonize in unity.

At 67 km north of Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile near the small town of Qena, stands the temple of Dendera, the ancient cult center of the goddess of love Hathor. At 98 km north of Dendera, near the town of el-Balyan is located the ancient Abydos with its inconceivable beauty temple of Pharaoh Seti I, dedicated to the god Osiris, Lord of the underworld. 54 km south of Luxor is a well-preserved temple of the god potter Khnum in Esna, and another 53 km to the south – Edfu – the famous sanctuary of the god Horus, the mythical founder of all Egyptian pharaohs, one of the most well-preserved temples of ancient Egypt.

The most famous sights of modern day Luxor among travelers are: The Luxor temple is one of Egypt’s especially majestic ancient temple complexes.

It is located on the eastern bank of the Nile near the city of Luxor.

In ancient times, Thebes was located here, and the temple was called “iput-resit”, which means “secret southern chambers.

Luxor temple complex is dedicated to the Theban triad: the ancient Egyptian gods Amon, his wife Mut and their son Honsu, and is a particularly complete embodiment of architectural features of the New Kingdom (XVI-XI centuries BC).

It is distinguished by the grandiosity of its design, monumentality and solemnity of details, and the great number of columns. The Luxor temple was the second largest in Thebes.

The alley of sphinxes at the entrance to the temple, both in antiquity and today, is an alley paved with stone, in which sphinxes had human heads.

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The alley was built under Pharaoh Nektaneb I, a representative of the 30th royal house.

The temple begins with the First, a 24-meter pylon built by Ramses II. This pylon is decorated with scenes of the military successes of Ramses. His famous battle with the Hittites at Kadesh is given the most attention here.

Some of the later leaders also depicted their victories on this pylon. The gates of the pylon lead to the peristyle courtyard. It was also, like the 1st pylon, made by Pharaoh Ramses II.

After this comes the colonnade made under Amenhotep III. It is a hundred-meter corridor in which 14 rows of columns are lined up. All the columns are in the form of papyrus.

The statues of Ramses II in ancient times stood on the sides of the entrance to the temple. They are six huge statues: two depicting the pharaoh sitting and two standing.

Of these, only three statues of Ramses the Great have survived to this day: two seated and one standing.

In addition, the Chicago restorers were able to recreate two more statues of Ramses from fragments.

In addition to the statues at the entrance is a 25-meter obelisk of pink granite, located on the left side of the entrance.

A different obelisk from the previous one is now in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, where it was taken in 1835.

The oldest part – the “holy of holies”, with adjoining halls decorated with monumental reliefs and inscriptions – was founded by Amenhotep III.

The first kings of the XIX dynasty added a courtyard with 74 columns to the south, interspersed with statues of the pharaohs. Ramses the Great added the northern peristyle and pylon and depicted on the outside of the latter his exploits in the war with the Hittites; the so-called “epic of Pentaurus” is inscribed here.

The hypostyle hall is another colonnade following. Here the columns, also built under Amenhotep, are much better preserved than the previous ones.

The hypostyle consists of 32 columns and leads to the “holy of holies” of the temple, which can be accessed through a dark corridor.

In the Roman-Byzantine period of Egyptian history, this corridor served the early Christians as a small chapel.

In the most sacred room of the temple was the barque of the god Amun.

The length of the building from the entrance to the northern wall was 260 meters. The Luxor temple functioned until about the first century BC when Thebes and its temples were broken up by Ptolemy X in 84 BC.

The temple of Luxor today is the ruins of the central temple of Amun-Ra, on the right bank of the Nile, on the south bank of Thebes, within the limits of the modern city of Luxor. Today Luxor is the world’s largest open-air museum.

Here, in the “city of the living” there are two colossal temples, the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple. Both temples were once joined by a large walkway along which were the Sphinxes, but now they are separated by modern buildings of the central part of the city of Luxor. These are not all the attractions of Luxor. Due to the tourist orientation, Egypt can also please travelers and establishments of the restaurant business.

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