Luxor is one of the most important cities of ancient and modern Egypt. Luxor is often referred to as the world’s largest open-air museum due to its massive collection of ancient temples and monuments.
Come with me on the adventure of a lifetime to see some of the most famous monuments in Luxor!
1. Valley of The Kings
Valley of The Kings is located in West Bank, Luxor, and is home to the tombs of some of the greatest Pharaohs that have ever lived. The valley is divided into two sections- east valley and west valley. There are sixty-three tombs of the kings and their royal family. The tombs located at Valley of the Kings are from the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC).
A general admission ticket will grant you entrance to three of the following tombs:
Tickets for the following tombs must be purchased separately:
Photography is not allowed unless you pay an additional fee to allow photos. The three tombs that I saw were:
King Tut (Tutankhamun)
Photo courtesy of Leroy Tyler
Photos courtesy of Leroy Tyler
Photos courtesy of Leroy Tyler
2. Temple of Hatshepsut
The Temple of Hatshepsut is one of the most impressive temples in Luxor. It was modeled after the temple of Mentuhotep II. Queen Hatshepsut reigned for 20 years. Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I, and her mother was Ahmose. Her father had a son named Thutmose II with his second wife, Mutnofret. Following tradition, Hatshepsut married her half brother Thutmose II. After marrying Amun, she received the highest honor and position of ‘god’s Wife of Amun.’ She went on to have a son and a daughter. Her husband later died while her son was still a child, resulting in Hatsheput controlling the affairs until her son was old enough. Hatshepsut broke tradition in her seventh year of reign and crowned herself as Pharaoh of Egypt. Her reign was known as one of the most peaceful and prosperous in the history of Egypt. King Hatshepsut was buried in the Valley of The Kings.
3. Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon are two monumental statues located west of the Nile River. They represent King Amenhotep III- the 9th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He ruled from 1386-1352 BCE. In the statues, he is seated on the throne. The states are 60 feet high and weigh about 720 tons each. Both were carved from a single block of sandstone. They were constructed to protect the King’s mortuary complex, which has since been destroyed due to earthquakes and floods.
4. Karnak Temple
Karnak Temple is located on the East Bank. It is the largest temple in Egypt, and one of the largest religious building in the world. It is primarily devoted to Thebes Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, consisting of pylons, decayed temples, and chapels. It covers over 200 acres. Many King’s made contributions to the building of Karnak Temple. The first known builder was Senusret, and Ramases II later added to the temple. Other contributions were also made by Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, and Horemheb.
5. Temple of Luxor
Luxor Tempe was constructed around 1392 BCE, and is located on the east bank of the Nile River. Amenhotep III built the temple, and it was completed by Tutankhamun and Horemheb. King Rameses II later added to the temple. For thousands of years, the temple was covered by houses and streets. Later, the mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu-al-Hajjaj was built over it. The mosque was later removed, and the temple was uncovered.
Books and pictures do no justice to these amazing monuments. It is something that you truly must see for yourself.
Which monument are you most intrigued by? For me, it was seeing the tomb of King Tutankhamun, and the massive Colossi of Memnon statues.
Check out my short Youtube movie of Luxor.