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Having toured Cairo and the surrounding areas of Sakkarah, Memphis and Giza it was time to head to Luxor, Egypt. For this portion of our trip we would fly giving us a good view of this desert country and the fertile Nile Valley. Our flight was a short one, much shorter than the drive and wait at the airport. Because of unpredictable traffic in Cairo we left the hotel for the airport 4 hours before our scheduled flight time. We were at the airport within the hour because of no traffic problems, but this is an example of what you have to do in countries with poor traffic management. Bangkok is exactly the same way, maybe a tad worse.

Luxor lies on the east bank of the Nile River about 450 miles south of Cairo and 100 miles north of Aswan. In ancient times the city was known as Thebes. Thebes was the capital of Egypt during its most glorious and powerful years. Its importance for geographical and political purposes began about 2050 B.C. at the end of the Old Kingdom. The rulers of Thebes beat their enemies and again united Egypt into a single state, at the time Thebes was a small town on the Nile in Upper Egypt. It would continue to prosper and, under the guidance of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom, it would become the ancient world's greatest capital. It would continue in power until 672 B.C. when Ashur-ban-pal sacked the city. It was later destroyed by the Ptolemies and by Roman times it was just a ruin laying waste in the desert.

Thebes was divided into two areas by a common canal; to its south Luxor flourished and to its north Karnak. The pharaohs of Egypt built many new and luxurious temples to celebrate each victory and triumph over their enemies. These temples were dedicated to the god Amon, his wife Mut and Khonsu.

Today, in Luxor, the only remnant of its ancient history is the magnificent Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun-Ra whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually. The temple was begun by Amon-Ofis III, enlarged by Tutmose III and finished by Ramses II. It is joined to the Temple of Karnak by a long avenue of sphinxes with ram's heads which the XXth dynasty substituted for the human head.

The entrance to the great temple (photo right) was marked by a pylon built by Ramses II which was almost 200 feet wide and decorated with bas-reliefs representing scenes from Ramses II battles with the Hittites. Originally two obelisks of Ramses II stood, but today only one remains. The other obelisks was moved to France in 1833 where it stands today in the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Entrance to the Temple of Luxor
Entrance to the Temple of Luxor

Columns with closed papyrus capitals
Giant columns with closed papyrus capitals

Hieroglyphs on columns and walls
Engraved hieroglyphs adorn most columns and wall spaces and depict the stories of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt

Granite colossi of Ramses II
Granite colossi of Ramses II seated on his throne

Inner courtyard with statues of Osiris
Believed to be the inner courtyard with statues of Osiris between the columns

Anne by statue believed to be King Tut
Anne and an ancient statue believed to be King Tut

Avenue of Ram's Head Sphinxes
The avenue of Sphinxes connecting the temples of Luxor and Karnak

Ram's Head Sphinx
The ram's head Sphinx

Facade of the Temple of Thot-Mosis III
Facade of the Temple of Thot-Mosis III

As you can see, there are many good pictures of the Temple of Luxor so we have to go to another page just to keep the transmission time down to a minimum. Sorry, but that is the price of seeing such pictures on the Internet. Wish we could all have a T1 line :)
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Egypt Introduction Page
Athens : The Acropolis at Night | The Parthenon
Rhodes: Lindos | The Acropolis at Lindos
Alexandria: Port of Alexandria | The City | Roman Ruins and Palace
Cairo: Port Said to Cairo | Sakkarah | Memphis | Life in the Nile Delta |The Great Pyramids at Giza | The Great Sphinx at Giza
Life in Cairo and the Mosque | Life in Cairo and Sadat's Memorial
Luxor: Luxor and the Temple of Luxor | Temple of Luxor (2) | Temple of Karnak | Temple of Karnak (2) | Temple of Karnak (3) | Colossi of Memnon
The Ramesseum | Deir El-Bahari | Valley of the Kings | Shopping in Luxor | Shopping in Luxor (2)
Aswan: Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples | Elephantine Island and Unfinished Obelisk | Aswan Dam | Shopping In Aswan
Israel: Arriving in Israel and Bethlehem | Jerusalem
Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey: Surprising Turkey, Hadrian's Temple and Marble Road | Ephesus Theater and Public Toilets

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