Luxor Temple, Egypt
3300BC-1200BC-Bronze Age Africa Egypt

Luxor Temple – The Spectacular Religious Center in Ancient Egypt

October 26, 2020

General Info

Construction Year1400BC
Age3420 years
TypeAncient Temple Complex, Sanctuary, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Other NamesIpet‑resyt “Southern Sanctuary”
Getting thereDistances:
Cairo: 500 Km
Hurghada: 210 Km

By plane
Luxor International Airport – flights from some European and Middle East countries
Internal flights:

Cairo – Luxor (1 H flight)
Sharm el-sheik – Luxor
Direct charters from Europe

By Train
Daytime air-conditioned express train
Overnight air-conditioned express train

Abela Egypt Overnight deluxe sleeper
By Bus
Buses run regularly from Cairo to Luxor.
By boat
There are boat trips from Luxor to Aswan and also on Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel
AccommodationEast Bank:
Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor – 5 Stars
Pavillon Winter Luxor – 5 Stars
Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa – 5 Stars
Mercure Luxor Karnak – 5 Stars
West Bank
Luxor Palace – 4 Stars
Les Appartements de la Concorde – 3 Stars, Private Host
Nile Compound – 3 Stars
Best Time to VisitLuxor has a hot desert climate. The city is one of the driest, sunniest and hottest (during summertime) cities in the world.
November till February (Winters are warm and mild)
Tickets / PricesAround 10 E (at the time of this writing)
Photo fee: Free
Opening HoursSummer: 6 AM – 10 PM
Winter: 6 AM – 9 PM
Visiting Timeapprox 1 H
LocationLuxor City, Luxor Governorate, Egypt, Africa


Travel Tips for Luxor Visit

  • Luxor main parts:
    • East Bank: The Luxor Temple, The Temple of Karnak, The Museum, trains, hotels, restaurants
    • West Bank the location of the major ruins including Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and other important sites; the Western Valley ruins, and a few hotels.
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear a hat – the sun is hot
  • Wear close-toed shoes as the area around Luxor Temple is sandy
  • Visit early when the temple opens, before the crowds arrive, or later at sunset when the stones glow. 
  • You must participate in the sound and light show that is happening in the evening
  • Hire a private Guide with Viator or with Luxor Travels
Luxor Temple 3

The Luxor Temple in the city of Luxor

The city of Luxor was Ancient Egypt’s capital, Thebes, and one of the largest urban and religious centers.

Thebes was the capital of the Egyptian kingdom for long periods.

Luxor city has evidence of habitation going back 250,000 years

During Egypt’s “New Kingdom” (1550-1050 B.C.), most of Egypt’s rulers chose to be buried close to the city in the nearby Valley of the Kings.

The core of the temple was built by Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC), completed by Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC), and then modified by Rameses II (1279-13 BC), Alexander the Great, and the Romans.

Luxor Temple was built with sandstone from the Gebel el-Silsila area during the New Kingdom.

The Luxor Temple was dedicated to the Theban TriadAmun (king of the gods), Mut (wife and consort of the god Amun-Ra, Mother Goddess, Queen of the Goddesses, and Lady of Heaven), and Khonsu (the god of the moon, Son of Amun and Mut).

Luxor Temple was a centerpiece of the “Opet Festival“, where the Sacred Barque of the Theban Triad travels from Karnak to Luxor temple for Pharaoh’s Re-coronation (rejuvenation of the pharaoh and renew his contract with the gods)

The oldest existing structure of the Luxor Temple is a shrine, dates to the reign of Hatshepsut (c.1473–1458 BC)

Luxor and other Theban sites (Karnak, the Valley of the Queens, and the Valley of the Kings) is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.

Temple of Luxor also holds a birth shrine built by Amenhotep III and a Barque Shrine (Barque was a ceremonial boat that was used to transport statues of gods and deities during the Opet Festival in Ancient Egypt) that was used by Amun (king of the gods).

The colonnades were designed to resemble bundles of papyrus, an important plant for the Egyptians, used to make paper, sandals, and other essentials.

Romans incorporated the entire complex into a castrum in the 3rd century, during the reign of Diocletian. Frescoes of Emperor Diocletian and holy figures can still be seen on one of the walls.

Structure of the Temple

Luxor Temple – Obelisks, Statues of Ramses and Pylons

Two 25m pink granite obelisk built by Ramesses once stood before the gateway but today only one remains the other stands in the Place De La Concorde in Paris. The pink granite obelisk and two seated statues of Ramesses II guard the entrance to the Luxor Temple.

The pylon entranceway is suggestive of the Egyptian hieroglyph which means “horizon.”

Luxor Temple – Court of Amonhotep III

The Court of Amenhotep III measures 45 m long by 56 m wide, with double rows of columns on three sides. The northern end was originally the entrance to the temple. The pharaoh worshiped the sun, so he didn’t add any roof to this structure, allowing the sun’s rays to fill the space. The Court had electrum walls and silver furnishings making the Court be extremely shiny on sunny days and the power of Amun-Ra.

The center of Luxor is the temple once known as “Ipet-Resyt” or “The southern Opet” which served as a focal point for the Opet festival.

It leads into the Hypostyle Hall, which has 32 papyrus columns, arranged in four rows of eight columns.

One of the inner rooms contains a series of scenes that are known as the Divine Birth. They tell the story of how the king Amonhotep’s true father was the god Amun himself. 

There is also another small room the chapel of Alexander the Great, and The Sanctuary.

An avenue of Sphinxes

An avenue of Sphinxes of over 3 km once connected the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Around 1,350 sphinx statues are thought to have lined this road.

Toward the rear is a granite shrine dedicated to Alexander the Great (332-305 BC).

Luxor Temple Court of Rameses II

The great Court of Rameses II is 57 m long and 51 m wide.

The court to the east is now partly occupied by the Mosque of al-Hajjaj.

Mosque of al-Hajjaj (Abou al-Haggag Mosque)

With the rise of Islam, in 14th century AD, Muslims built a mosque over a part of the ruins of Luxor Temple.

Author: Marc Ryckaert ( MJJR )
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