Temple of Karnak

The Temple of Karnak or the temple of Amun at Karnak, is prepared of a series of break structures and holds that combine to form one huge building complex. Arriving at the temple, the believer passed the conventional tribune and proceeded down a sphinx-lined alley.  Extending out from the west position of the temple towards the Nile, this would have been the great temple catch from the 22nd  Dynasty onward. 

Before entering the temple, one passed through a great stone pylon. This structure, addressed the first pylon, was in
The Statue of King Ramses II in Karnak Temple
reality the last one constructed at the temple. The temple was spread into sections by a serials of nine more pylons, ten in total, creating an east/west axis, as well as a north/south axis.  The pylons today are looked from the west to the east (pylons 1-6) and then from the northern to the south (pylons 7-10).   This coming system does not represent the order of structure, as the earliest temple constructions are based behind the sixth pylon, and the temple extended outward through time from this core area.  Once past the first pylon, the visitor stood in one of the temple courtyards.  This open-air court, which accepts a colonnade and introduces a number of smaller structures, is called the “first court.” 

The first court led direct the second power pylon and into the hypostyle hall.  The hall has a central raised nave and is put up by a veritable forest of sandstone columns.  Its rear wall originally stood independently as the third pylon. Moving into the heart of the temple, one sunk a series of tall stone obelisks. Each of these four-sided columns was sliced from a single piece of granite and located at various important areas within and out the temple. The heart of Karnak lies in its asylum.  It is here, in the central-most part of the building, where the statue of the god Amun-Ra would have been housed and where the temple’s “daily ritual” took place.  The god’s image was stored inside a stone naos or shrine.  The immediate sanctuary would have also held rooms for the storage of great and precious cult equipment. 

Karnak’s devoted lake graces the southern side of the temple.  This pool supplied water for cult uses and served as the location for special rituals with the god’s bark. To the south, the Karnak pylons create opposite main route to the temple.  This is its southern axis.  This axis was essential for the temple’s participation in festivals and processions.  This path led to the temple of the goddess Mut in south Karnak, and it also links Karnak with the temple of Luxor

Surrounding the temple and its many secondary constructions and shrines is an inclosure wall.  Made of layer upon layer of mud brick, the wall defined and maintained the sacred space from the profane. Huge stone gateways puncture the enclosure at a number of points along the wall. These gates provided access to the different axis routes and temples within the Karnak precinct. Gates would have been prepared with wooden doors, holding the access to various parts of the precinct and the temple proper. Many areas of the temple would have been open just to temple priests.