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Luxor Temple was built during the New Reign and it is the only one of the Ancient Egyptian temples that has influences from the pharaonic era to the Islamic period. But why? This and other curiosities are here, and that's what you will know now!
It is one of the most famous temples in Ancient Egypt. The temple is well-preserved and was dedicated to the gods Mut, Amun, and Chons. It is amongst the main attractions in Egypt and it is UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
When was the Luxor Temple built?
Around 1400 BC. It was commissioned by king Amenhotep III, but others also contributed to its expansion throughout the centuries, such as Ramses II, Tutmoses III and even Alexander the Great. Most probably the works continued up to the Islamic era, and if this is true then it makes of Luxor Temple the only one that has pharaonic, Greek-Roman, Islamic & Coptic influences - even though it could have been used to different purposes in other periods (the Romans, for example, used it as fortress and seat of government).
What happened to the Luxor Temple during all this time?
As most of Ancient Egyptian Temples, Luxor Temple had its glorious period and it lasted quite a while. But of course at some point in History it was completely abandoned - actually around 200 AC.
Then, it is the typical story: it was swallowed by the desert's sand and remained forgotten for many centuries. It was only discovered in the XIX century. There was a village above it that had to be removed. Only a mosque from the XII century survived and it can still be seen by visitors.
Where is the Luxor Temple located?
It is in Luxor, ancient Thebes, Upper Egypt, east bank of the Nile river.
What are Luxor Temple's highlights?
It is a beautiful temple, and even though smaller than Karnak it is not less interesting. It is the house of an impressive red granite obelisk and at the entrance there are two giant statues of Ramses II and the Sphinx Avenue, that in the past connected both Luxor and Karnak temples.
Luxor Temple has high columns, each one 23 m. They are 14 in total. Your tour guide most probably will explain that the hieroglyphs on the walls tell the story of the Opet Festival. This festival happened every year, the statues of Mut, Amun and Quespisiquis were transported from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple and peregrines would follow them.
The temple's hypostyle room also deserves to be mentioned. It is a central place from where visitors have a general idea of other rooms. It contains 32 majestic columns
As the other temples, the Luxor Temple was a religious place and used to offer to gods. However there is something in particular about it: it was also used for pharaoh's rejuvenation rituals. These rituals were not open to the public but people could cult the divine part of the pharaoh, known as 'ka'. They were very complex rituals and priests should have a deep knowledge and understanding of not just religion but symbology as well.
It is believed that many pharaohs were coronate in the Luxor Temple.
What is the best time to visit Luxor Temple?
Visits run throughout the year so the best time to go depends on your personal preferences. Yet during summer time the high temperatures can be unpleasant to some people, especially during the months of June, July, and August when it reached 45 degrees Celsius or above. The best period regarding nice weather runs from September to April.
If you are planning a Luxor & Aswan tour then most probably the Luxor Temple will should be included in your plans.
What should I wear to visit the Luxor Temple?
Just wear comfortable clothes. It is always important to underline that this is a historical site and as such you will walk and most probably be under the sun, so wear heat, sunglasses, carry a bottle of water, etc.
Do I need a tour guide to visit the Luxor Temple?
A guide is a person who will provide you information that otherwise you would not have access to. Of course that you should always do your own research about a place and we support that but an Egyptologist guide will be the right person to read the many inscriptions on the walls and explain about symbols in loco. We strongly recommend a professional tour guide yet the last word will always be yours.