Luxor

The ancient Egyptian name for the area was Thebes, which is comprised of Luxor and Karnak, on the east bank of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings and the mortuary temples, which are located on the west bank.
More than 80 percent of Egyptian artifacts are in the Thebes area and you should plan your visit accordingly.


The Valley of Kings    
In the midst of the desert you will find one of the most famous sites of ancient Egypt. Walking down the steps of the tombs you enter the world of the dead.
Beginning with the 18th Dynasty and ending with the 20th, the kings abandoned the Memphis area and built their tombs in Thebes.Most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed.
 

Valley Of The Queens (Biban Al-Harim)
The Valley of the Queens is an isolated cemetery, at the southern part of the vast necropolis of Thebes, on the west bank of Luxor. It contains about 70 tombs, mainly belonging to Queens, Princesses, Princes and Nobles, who lived during the XIX and XX Dynasties. In general, these tombs are smaller than the ones of the Kings. The plans of these tombs usually consist of a small antechamber, a long narrow corridor with several side chambers, and at the end - the burial chamber.

Memnon Colossi
In Thebes Amenhotep III (18th Dyn) built a mortuary temple that was guarded by two gigantic statues at the outer gates. All that remains now are the 19.5m statues of Amenhotep. Though damaged by nature and tourists throughout the ages, the statues are still impressive. The statues, of Amenhotep's mother Mutemuia and Queen Tiy were shattered by an earthquake. The fallen remains produced a musical sound under certain weather conditions. The Egyptians thought that this music came directly from the gods. To be granted a song meant that you were very much in the favor of the gods.

The Temple of Deir el Bahari
The Temple of Deir El-Bahri is one of the most characteristic temples in the whole of Egypt, due to its design and decorations. It was built of limestone, not sandstone like most of the other funerary temples of the New Kingdom period.

It is thought that Senimut, the genius architect who built this Temple, was inspired in his design by the plan of the neighboring mortuary Temple of the 12th Dynasty King, Neb-Hept-Re. The Temple was built for the great Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty), to commemorate her achievements and to serve as a funerary Temple for her, as well as a sanctuary of the God, Amon Ra.


The Temple of Karnak    
Like a dwarf you walk between the giant pillars of the temples of Karnak. The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples, smaller enclosed temples and several outer temples. This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. The three main temples of Mut, Monthu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls. The Open Air Museum is located to the north of the first courtyard across from the Sacred Lake. The main complex, The Temple of Amun, is situated in the center of the entire complex.  

The Temple of Luxor
Luxor Temple, or The Temple of Luxor, is among the most beautiful Temples in Egypt. It was known in the New Kingdom period as Ipt-Rsyt, which means the southern shrine. This was to differentiate between this Temple and Karnak Temple, which was the northern house of Amon Ra.

Temple of Madinat Habu
The Temple of Medinat Habu is one of the largest memorial Temples in Egypt. It measures 320m in length (east to west) and about 200m in width (north to south). It was built to commemorate Ramses III, after his death, by orders of the King himself. A huge mud brick enclosure wall surrounds the Temple.

Temple of The Ramesseum or the Ramesseum Temple
Ramses II built the Temple of the Ramesseum as a funerary Temple in 1304-1207 B.C, and it was dedicated to the God Ra. Most of the Temple is in a very bad condition nowadays, or in ruins. The entrance to the Temple once had two pylons that have now collapsed. In the first courtyard, of the Temple, there is only a colonnaded hall that has survived.
In front of the ruins of the first pylon, there once stood a colossal statue of Ramses that was more than 1000 Tons in weight and 18m high! You can still see the remains of it today.


Valley of the Nobles
The Valley of The Nobles is located on the west bank of Luxor, in an area called Sheik Abd El-Korna. The site has rock cut tombs of Nobles, and high officials of ancient Egypt, who once served the Pharaohs during the time of the New Kingdom. (1500 - 500 BC)

The Temple of Dendara
Visitors to Luxor, who have the time, should try and visit the famous Temple of Hathor at Dendera. In a taxi, the trip takes about 1 hour from Luxor. The Temple is located about 4KM from the River Nile, on its west bank, roughly opposite the city of Qena.