The Temple of Luxor – Ruins of a Civilization Long Gone


Regardless of whether you are a person who likes to travel a lot, or you prefer to only occasionally leave your country, you must visit Egypt at least once in your lifetime. The country has to offer countless landmarks that will leave you breathless. The first things associated with Egypt are usually the pyramids of Giza or the Great Sphinx; if you are more knowledgeable about the subject, you may also be familiar with the temples of Karnak and Abu Simbel, but the Luxor temple is something you should definitely include when you are planning your visit to Egypt.

Where is Luxor located?

Luxor is located on the east bank of the Nile, in Southern Egypt. It is largely considered to be one of the greatest museums without walls, i.e. in the open air. It contains both the temples of Luxor and Karnak and looks at the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens across the river. It is also important to note that it was built where the ancient city of Thebes used to be. Almost all people who visit Egypt stop here to marvel at the wonders of ancient architecture and art.

About the temple

The Luxor temple complex was built using Nubian sandstone, from south-western Egypt, which shows that the construction was by no means cheap or easy. Even the plans and the method of construction show that ancient Egyptian architects and masons were incredibly skilled. A great example of this is the case of the two obelisks placed at the entrance, which were not of equal height; however, they were unevenly spaced from the temple walls, so as to create the illusion of being the same size. The temple itself is not dedicated to a particular god, unlike other temples from this time period, but rather to kingship, as numerous ancient Egyptian kings were crowned precisely there.  This magnificent piece of architecture was started in the time of Amenhotep III and finished during Tutankhamun’s reign. The construction took quite a long time, but the complex continued to change even after its completion.

How the temple changed

Due to being thousands of years old, the temple has seen numerous cultures come and go, and each of them has left a mark, enriching it. In the back of the temple, there is a chamber of Alexander the Great. Aside from that, during the Christian period, one of the halls was converted into a church, and an old Coptic church was discovered not far from there. During the Muslim period, the mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu al-Hajjaj was built over it. Of course, this was before the temple was discovered; after its discovery, great attention was paid to preserve both the temple and the mosque above it, as both are priceless historical monuments. Although there were numerous influences added to the original ancient Egyptian temple complex, it is by no means any less important or less beautiful, and needs to be seen, should you ever visit Egypt.

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