Thebes Egypt is an amazing city, wedding the modern world with the ancient. The stunning ruins of the ancient past stand side-by-side with the everyday, and adventure abounds! Nearly all of our Egypt tour packages as well as our Nile River cruises include guided tours to several of the area’s top sites.
Thebes was the capital city in Ancient Egypt and is found on the east bank of the Nile River. It was once known as the capital of Waset, the fourth Upper Egyptian nome, and was also used as the capital of Egypt during the 11th Dynasty and 18th Dynasty.
“Heaps of Precious Ingots Gleam”
Don’t confuse ancient Egypt’s Thebes with the Greek town of Thebes. They are two different places and in fact, ancient Thebes is now regarded as the modern city of Luxor, though originally it encompassed both Luxor and Karnak. Thebes still exists today and is home to many ruins and tombs of ancient Egyptian rulers. In fact, the remains of Thebes serve as a testimony not only to Egyptian life but also to the pinnacle of all Egyptian civilization. The Greek Poet Homer once wrote about the majesty of Thebes, labeling it a place where “heaps of precious ingots gleam.”
In history Thebes was known as a prominent city to house royal residents as well as a dedicated city given to the worship of the Egyptian god Amon.
Thebes Egypt Was Once a Wealththy City
For a time Thebes Egypt was a wealthy city under the rule of the Egyptian Empire but was later sacked by Assyrians (an event referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures), then by Persians, and later by the Romans. It’s hard to believe that anything could survive several generations of destruction, but Thebes has. Some tombs and temples still remain such as the Temple of Amon at Karnak, the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, and mortuary temples of Ramses II and Hatshepsut.
Top 10 still standing highlights of the ancient city of Thebes
- Valley of the Kings – 65 Ancient Tombs And Still Counting
- Tomb of King Tut – Egypt’s Most Loved Ancient Site By Far
- Luxor Temple – An Ancient Temple Of Pharoah Amenophis III
- Karnak Temple – Largest Religious Site Of The Ancient World
- Queen Hatshepsut Temple – One Of Egypt’s Great Wonders
- Valley of the Queens – A Necropolis Of The Pharaohs Wives
- Dendera Temple Complex – Home To Egypt’s Best Preserved Temple
- The Avenue of Sphinxes – An Amazing Project Of Queen Hatshepsut
- Colossi Of Memnon – The Guardians Of An Ancient Mortuary Temple
- Abydos – One Of The Oldest Sacred Ancient Cities Discovered
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
You can thank UNESCO for protecting this landmark region (something ancient civilizations could never quite do) and declaring its properties a World Heritage site in the year 1979. You can still tour Ancient Thebes, and many tourists prefer doing this by bicycle. It only takes about 15 minutes to arrive at the location. Along with Luxor and Karnak, the ruins of Thebes have been called the “world’s greatest open air museum.” There are a number of artifacts to see and most of the structures are very well preserved.
The sites in and around Thebes Egypt are major tourist attractions and have always been, from the days of the New Kingdom to the end of the Roman Empire. Luxor, Thebes and surrounding areas are very friendly to tourists and offer many hotels, shopping centers and restaurants. One thing you will notice about the area is that all building seems to be built according to a tourist code – that is they are designed to look pharaonic, adding Egyptian style grandeur to the area.
View all Luxor Tourist Attractions
[Video] Thebes, Egypt – The Ancient Attractions of Modern Day Luxor