Luxor Temple is one of six ancient temples found in the vicinity of Luxor. It was built by Amenophis III for worshiping the gods Amun, Chons and Mut. It is an amazing site, and one which features in many of our Egypt tour packages, and also in nearly all of our Nile River cruises.
The Temple of Luxor is one of the most famous ancient Luxor tourist attractions and is placed firmly on the tourist trail in Egypt, attracting many thousands of visitors each year. It is one of six ancient temples in and around the city of Luxor in Upper Egypt, in the area that was once home to the ancient city of Thebes. The temple was initially built for religious rites to the gods Amun, Chons and Mut.
A Brief History Of Luxor Temple
Luxor temple was built in 1400 BCE during the reign of Amenophis III and was known to the Egyptians as the Southern Sanctuary. Later, Tuthmosis III and Alexander the Great both built chapels on the grounds, located just to the rear of the main temple. The temple, as well as the other structures at the site is all built from Nubian sandstone that was transported to the site from quarries in southwestern Egypt. During the Roman period, the temple was used almost exclusively as a fortress as well as serving as the headquarters of the Roman Government.
The Temple Colonnade and Hypostyle Hall
One of the most awe-inspiring features at Luxor Temple is it imposing colonnade comprising a total of 14 columns that are topped with papyrus shaped capitals. Each column is roughly 23 meters high, with a circumference of around 10 meters. Both sides on the colonnade are enclosed with masonry walls that are covered with reliefs showing scenes relating to the festival of Opet. The colonnade, along with the decorated walls was completed during the reign of King Tutankhamun and King Horemheb.
Moving past the colonnade, visitors will pass through a large courtyard lined with more large pillars as they make their way to the vast hypostyle hall, which again, is home to another 32 massive columns. From here visitors can move on to view the inner part of the temple that includes four antechambers and ancillary rooms, together with the Sanctuary of the Sacred Barque which is found in the innermost room. Interestingly, records show that Alexander the Great completely rebuilt the chapel during his reign.
Significance Of The Luxor Temple Ceremonies
The ancient Egyptians are well known for their many different ceremonies, but it should be said that those held at Luxor Temple were not only incredibly important, but also very complex in terms of religious symbolism. The ancient Luxor Temple also served as a shrine where people could worship the divine and immortal portion of the pharaoh, known as the royal “ka”. This was essentially a symbol that was representative of the legitimacy of a pharaoh’s power, and as such, it was not restricted to any one individual pharaoh.
Many historians and archaeologists consider the temple to be one of the New Kingdom’s most remarkable architectural achievements. No matter how many pictures you see, and no matter how many words you read, you can’t really appreciate the magic of this attraction until you actually visit.
If you’ve booked or intend booking one of our Nile cruises from Luxor to Aswan that include a stay in Luxor, you’ll almost certainly see the amazing Luxor Temple mentioned in your Egypt tour package itinerary. The same also applies if you book one of our Nile cruises from Aswan to Luxor since all our Nile cruise holidays include a visit to Luxor Temple.
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