Luxor city guide
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The meaning of Luxor
Luxor is one of the oldest cities in the worlds, we don't know when Luxor was built. The ancient Egyptian called the city "waset" that means the scepter, but the Greek called it Thebes of the hundred gates and the Roman - Dios Polis Magana. At last when the Arab conquered Egypt they gave it the name of Luxor and it means the palaces cause it have many temples. 2/3 world's monuments located in Luxor. Today it is difficult when one arrives at Luxor to imagine how the great Thebes was laid out. For centuries the capital city of the Egyptian empire, it was proverbially famous for its wealth ( the treasures ), began its decline in 672 B.C. when it was sacked by Ashur Banipal.
Destroying Luxor during Ptolemy's times
In 84 B.C. the city was almost completely destroyed by the Ptolemy's, the new rulers, in their attempt to quench the nationalist feeling that had risen in opposition to them and their new capital, Alexandria. By Roman times Thebes was a sea of ruins. In the early centuries of the Christian era, Coptic churches sprang up amidst the ruins, followed by mosques, with the formation of new villages. Luxor rose on the ruins to the south of the canal which had divided the old capital and the small village of Karnak came into being to the north.
Considered to be the largest place of Worship ever made, this temple covers 200 acres (1.5 km. by 0.8 km. ). Actually the Karnack temples consist of several temples built from the time of the middle kingdom 2000 B.C. During this period the pharaohs changed Karnak into the national shrine of Egypt. Each king erected some sort of building honoring the Theban triad, consisting of the great god Amun - the father, his wife Mut - the mother and the moon god Khonsu - the son. The most important temple in Karnak is the temple of Amun Ra, which is the largest temple not only in Egypt but also in the world Only scanty traces of the older temples exist and chapels that stood during the time of the middle kingdom (2050-1800B.C.) However, recent discoveries of sculptured stones scattered or picked up from destroyed pylons have added to our knowledge of those structures.
Description of Karnak temples
The stones formed the finely carved limestone chapel of Senusert 1st of the 17th dynasty, which was recently reconstructed by French architect M. H. Cheverier on the north west side of the great temple of Amun -Ra. The 1st pylon built by the Ethiopian king was never completed; portions of the mud brick ramps on which stones were hauled into position are still visible behind the south tower of the pylon. The stones were left undressed and it has no scenes, as do the other pylons. It is 370 feet wide, 142 feet high and 40 feet thick. It is adjoined to the tameness walls of brick, which enclose this temple and the temple of Khonsu . On the facade of the towers of the pylon there are some grooves for flagstaffs, a common feature in most of such towers. Visitors will find a fine view of the entire temple from the northern tower of this pylon. This temple served as the celebration hall of the Opet feast, which was represented by voyage of the god Amun. The main procession went from Karnak to Luxor temple and then back again. The temple was built by Amenophis the 3rd, a king of the 18th dynasty in about 1400 B.C.Back to all articles
Egypt Tourists Attractions | Luxor city guide