Luxor Temple

Avenue of the Sphinxes at dusk

Illuminated by floodlights at night Luxor Temple is a magnificent introduction to Egypt’s antiquities for anybody arriving after dark and well worth a visit during a stay in the city. Located in the middle of town the temple dates back to around 1540 BCE with many later additions and reconstructions however with fewer pharaoh’s involved in its gradual construction, it is smaller and less overwhelming than its more famous neighbour at Karnak.

As with Karnak Temple it is dedicated to the Theban trio of Amun, Khonsu and Mut. An avenue of sphinxes once linked Luxor Temple with that at Karnak and vast amounts of excavations involving the demolition of buildings which lie over the top of the avenue are underway in an effort to restore this ancient way. Remains of this avenue line the entrance-way leading to the First Pylon, flanked by two enormous seated figures of Ramses II and a 25metre-high obelisk. Entering the Peristyle Hall to the right lies the shrine to the Theban trio; beyond lies a colonnaded walkway of columns with papyrus capitals, the lotus columns of the Court of Amenhotep III and the Hypostyle Hall. The Sanctuary of Amun-Re lies at the very end of the temple.

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