Luxor Temple

Luxor temple entrance
This magnificent construction, know in ancient times as the “Harem of the South” is engaged to the Temple of Karnak by a 3 Km prosodion Avenue of Sphinxes, like Karnak, Luxor temple was devoted to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khonusu, whose statues stood here during the Opet festival.

Even though Luxor Temple was inflated several times throughout the ages, it’s much more heavy and coherent than Karnak, perhaps because its core was established by just one pharaoh, Amenhotep III. The walls are decorated with some of the finest carvings in Egypt, protected because often of the temple was buried until 1885. Before excavations, only the heads of the Ramses II colossi and the hints of the obelisks stuck out above the pile of debris on which Luxor village was established. The village was removed bit by bit as the digs started.

Sphinxes Road
The Boulevard of Sphinxes leads to the great fist pylon established by Ramses II, which was once fronted by two obelisks and six colosii of the world himself. The pylon is decorated, as so some other Egyptian temples, with Ramses II’s favorite story the battle of Qadesh. Beyond the pylon, the large Court of Ramses II is included by two rows of papyrus-bud columns, interlarded with more statues of the king.

Beyond the second pylon the stunning Processional Colonnade of Amenhotep III, with huge papyrus columns, was the model for the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. The starving on the walls was contributed by Tutankhamun and gives a picture of the Opet celebration: One wall shows the out journey, the other the return of the procession. At the end of colonnade is the temple’s most impressive part, the Great Sun Court, also built by Amenhotep III, its fine palms got over the millennium between the reigns of Amenhotep and Alexander the Great.

Unfortunately this court has suffered badly from the rising water level and a major return project is underway. Behind a columned portico, used as a chapel by Roman soldiers, lays the temple’s inner sanctuary, with Alexander the Great’s Sanctuary of Amun’s Barge and Amenhotep III’s Birth Room, and his nurturing by goddesses. The fundamentals on which this part of the temple was built was believed to be the place where Amun was born.