Luxor is the world's greatest open - air museum,
filled with the inspiring monuments of ancient
civilization. It contains nearly one third of the
world's antiquities. There is hardly a place in
Luxor which has not a relic that reflects the
greatness of the ancient Egyptians and their
civilization that dates back to seven thousands
During the new kingdom (1567-1085)the capital of
Egypt was Wesset which means "mace" to express the
extreme authority of this city ,then the name was
changed to "Thebes" and Homer described it as " City
of the Hundred Gates". The Arabs called it "Luxor"
means" The city of Palaces" because they were
impressed by its magnificent edifices and huge
buildings. It still attracts hordes of visitors from
all over the world to enjoy the monuments of the
eternal city and its temples with their towering
On the two Banks of the Nile
On the east bank of the Nile, in the city of the
living, Luxor and Karnak temples greet the sunrise.
The sunset on the west bank throws shadows through
the City of the Dead: the Tombs of the nobles, the
valley of the kings, Queen Hatshepsut's temple.
Recently, a bridge connecting the east and west
banks has been constructed to speed up tourist
traffic to the west bank.
The visitor of Luxor can make a journey to enjoy the
wonderful tourist sites of Luxor soaring in a
balloon above the temples on the east and west
banks. Some agencies organize daily balloon journeys
which last for one and half hour.
East bank monuments
The Southern temple , dedicated to the principal of
Thebes Amon, it was built by the New Kingdom Pharaoh
Amenophis III, and expanded over centuries by famous
pharaohs including Ramses II, Tit and also Alexander
The grandeur of the edifice represents that of
Thebes at its zenith
It was known to the ancient Egyptians as “lpet
Reseyet”, the harem of the South.
Leading to the temples is the avenue of the rams ,
representing the supreme Theban god Amon, symbol of
fertility and growth. Beneath the rams heads, small
statues of Ramses II were carved .
Karnak is composed of a vast complex of temples,
chapels and other buildings of various dates. The
name Karnak comes from the nearby village of El-Karnak.
Whereas Luxor to the South was Ipet-Ray,Karnak was
ancient Ipet-Isut, the most select of places.
Theban kings and the god Amon came to prominence at
the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. From that time,
the temples of Karnak were built, enlarged, torn
down, added to,and restored over more than 2000
years until Roman times.
The ancient Egyptians considered Ipet-Isut as the
place of the initial rising of the first time, where
Amon-Ra made the first mound of Earth rise from Nun.
At Karnak, the high priests recognized a king as the
beloved son of Amon, king of all the gods.
The coronations and jubilees were also held here.
Staffed by more than 80,000 people under Ramesses
III, the temple was also the administrative center
of enormous holdings of agricultural land.
The largest and most important part of the site is
the central enclosure, the great temple of Amon
proper. The layout of the great temple consists of a
series of pylons of various dates. The earliest are
Pylons IV and V,built by Tuhtmosis I and from then
on the temple was enlarged towards the West and
South. Courts or halls run between the
pylons,leading to the main sanctuary.
The temple is built along two axes, with a number of
smaller temples and chapels and a sacred lake. The
northern enclosure belongs to Montu, the original
god of the Theban area, while the enclosure of Mut
lies to the south and is connected with Amon's
precinct by an alley of ram-headed sphinxes. An
avenue bordered by sphinxes linked Karnak with the
Luxor Temple, and canals connected the temples of
Amon and Montu with the Nile.
The Sound and Light Show
This spellbinding show ,through the exquisite use of
words, light and music, tells the story of these
magnificent Karnak temples .The program is presented
in Arabic, English, French German and Spanish.
The museum is situated between the Temples of Luxor
and Karnak. It houses pharaonic relics from Luxor
and the nearby areas.
Recently inaugurated in the visitors centre in
Luxor, it is the only one of its kind in the world.
It houses 150 relics of mummies, coffins, tools the
ancient Egyptian physician used, and paintings
representing the religious funerary rituals.
West bank monuments
The Clossi of Memnon
These two statues of Amenophis III measuring 18
meters once marked the entrance to the largest
temple in Thebes It covered 385,000 square meters
(4,200,000 square feet), and it was even larger than
the temple of Amon-Re at Karnak.
Due to an earthquake in 27 BC, these statues were
damaged and became known for a bell like tone that
usually occurred in the morning . They were
associated by the early Greek travelers with the
figure of Memnon, the son of Aurora whose mother,
Eos was the goddess of dawn.
Med net Habu temple
This complex was built by Ramses II in the form of a
fortified town which includes a temple, a place,and
several chapels. Scenes depicted on the walls
commemorate his victories over the Libyans,the
Sarinians,the Cretans and others.They also includes
unique reliefs of a sea battle.
Later Kings including Hatshepsut and Thutmose II
added chapels to the complex, and Ptolemaic Kings
This is the warrior King Ramses II's mortuary temple
at western Thebes that has inspired Shelley's sonnet
“Ozymandias”. Its murals record the renowned Battle
of Kadesh against Halite's. Its hallmark is a pillar
hall with giant statues of Ramses II in Osirid form,
wrapped in a blanket and holding scepters.
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple / El-Deir El-Bahari
Hatshepsut, the only woman to rule over Egypt as
pharaoh, named her temple “Djeser-Djeseru” the
splendor of splendors.
The mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut is one of
the most dramatically situated in the world. The
queen's architect, Senenmut, designed it and set it
at the head of a valley overshadowed by the Peak of
Thebes. A tree lined avenue of sphinxes led up to
the temple, and ramps led from terrace to terrace.
On the lowest terrace are reliefs depicting the
transport of obelisks by barge to Karnak and the
miraculous birth of Queen Hatshepsut.
Reliefs on the South side of the middle terrace show
the queen's expedition by way of the Red Sea to
Punt, the land of incense. Along the front of the
upper terrace, a line of large, gently smiling
Osirid statues of the queen looked out over the
Tombs of the Valley of the kings
King Tut Ankh Amon 's Tomb
The Kings of the 18th, 19th, and 20th, dynasties
carved their towards into the limstone mountains
here and decorated them with designs showing the
deceased Kings with the gods in the afterworld and
texts from the book of the dead,and the book of the
King Tut Ankh Amon's tomb , the most famous tomb in
the valley of the kings , circa 1352 BC. In 1922
,Howard Carter's discovery of king Tut's fabulous
treasures caused a worldwide sensation Other
interesting and well-preserved tombs are those of
Seti I,Ramses III,and Ramses II.
Valley of the Queens
Queen Nefertari's Tomb
The tombs of Nefertari wife of Ramses II is the most
renowned at the Valley of the Queens. It boasts
restored vivid murals and instions.
Tombs of the Nobles :The most important are:the
tombs of Nakht,Menena,Ra'as mes Ramuza,Senefru.
The Tombs of Deir el-Medina: The most important is
the tomb of Sen Negem.
Temple of Dendera
On the West Bank of Qena city 60 km north of Luxor.
It is one of the Greco-Roman temples for the worship
of goddess Hathor. It was built by King Ptolemy III
and its construction was completed by the Roman
Emperors. The ceiling of the hypostyle room has an
astronomic decoration with the symbolic
representation of the sky.
Temple of Esna
South of Luxor, constructed for the worship of god
Khnum, the god of creation, in the form of a ram's
head. It is one of the Greco- Roman temples within
the hypostyle hall constructed by King Ptolemy VI
and completed by the Roman emperors.
Nearby is a Christian monastery. It is the monastery
of Manaus and El Shohada, constructed in the fourth
century. But the monastery of the three thousand six
hundred martyrs includes two churches; the walls of
one of them are decorated with a fresco that dates
from the tenth century.
Religious sites of Luxor
Abul-Haggag al-Oqsuri mosque at Luxor temple.Coptic
Church neighboring the mosque in Luxor temple
El-Shayeb Monastery, 7km north of the city
Mari Guirgis Monastery on the west bank
Muhareb Monastery, 4km from the west bank of the
Hotels in Luxor
Hilton Luxor Hotel
Mercure Inn Luxor
Novotel Luxor Egypt
Tel: 095-238-0923/ 24/ 25
Pyramisa Isis Hotel Luxor
Tel: 095- 237-3366
Sheraton Luxor Resort
Jollie Ville Movenpick
Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel
Tel: 095-238-0422/ 5
Sonesta St. George Hotel