Remarkable Ruins - Luxor Temple, Egypt
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Remarkable Ruins – Luxor Temple, Egypt

Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple, Egypt is actually a large ancient Egyptian temple complex situated on the east bank of the River Nile in the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes), which was known as “Ipet Resyt” (the southern sanctuary) in the Egyptian language. The temple was dedicated to Amun, Mut, and Khonsu and was the focus of the annual Opet Festival, which was considered as one of the most important religious festivals in ancient Egypt.

Luxor Temple
Luxor Temple
Courtyard of Ramesses II
Courtyard of Ramesses II
Luxor Temple
Luxor Temple
Pylons and obelisk at Luxor temple.
Pylons and obelisk at Luxor temple.

Constructed during the New Kingdom around 1400 BC., Luxor consists of several great temples on the east and west banks. Four of the major mortuary temples include the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, the Temple of Seti I at Gurnah, the Temple of Ramesses II (Ramesseum), and the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. The two primary cult temples on the east bank are known as the Karnak and Luxor. The temple was founded by Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC), but the additional constructions were carried out by the subsequent Pharaohs Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC), Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) and  Rameses II (1279-13 BC). A great granite shrine, dedicated to Alexander the Great (332-305 BC), stands near the rear end. There is a twenty-five meter pink granite obelisk also built by Ramesses just inside the gateway. It is one of a pair – the other one now stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Temple of  Ramses II in Luxor
Temple of  Ramses II in Luxor

Laxor Temple 03
The northern end of the court was originally the entrance to the temple. It was an enclosed colonnade of seven pairs of 52-feet high open-flower papyrus columns.The Court leads into the Hypostyle Hall, complete with thirty-two tall columns. At the rear of the hall are four small rooms and an antechamber leading to the birth room, the chapel of Alexander the Great, and the sanctuary. During the Christian era, the temple’s hypostyle hall was converted into a Christian church, and eventually the Muslims built a Mosque in the 10th century, which is known as the Mosque of Abou El-Hagag.

Pillars of the Great Hypostyle Hall
Pillars of the Great Hypostyle Hall
Medinet Habu - Ramesses III
Medinet Habu – Ramesses III

The modern town of Luxor is the site of the famous ancient city of Thebes, which was the capital of Egypt from the twelfth dynasty on (1991 BC) and reached its zenith during the New Kingdom. Although the mud-brick houses and palaces of Thebes have disappeared, even today, Luxor attracts thousands of tourists every year, from all over the world.

The main entrance to Karnak flanked by ram-headed sphinxes
The main entrance to Karnak flanked by ram-headed sphinxes
  Luxor temple, Egypt at Night
Luxor Temple at Night

Dibyendu Banerjee
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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