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.
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.
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.
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.