Monday, April 5, 2010

Egypt – Luxor

Luxor is 670 km from Cairo, it is the world’s greatest outdoor museum, riched in awe-inspiring monuments of ancient civilization. It was the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, it was called “Waset” which means “mace” to express the extreme authority of this city, then the name was changed to Thebes and Homer described it as “City of the Hundred Gates”. Its recent name, Al-Oqsor, which means “The City of Palaces” named by Arabs when they dazzled with its palaces and temples which are still survived by the virtue of its granite and sandstone buildings.
The River Nile divided El-Oqsor into two banks. On the East Bank, the City of Living, Luxor and Karnak Temples greet the sunrise. The sunset on the West Bank throws shadows through the City of the Dead: the Tombs of the Nobles, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Hatshepsut’s Temple, etc.
Today, you can walk through history; to see one third of the world monuments. Ride on a horse-drawn carriage, sail in a felucca, take a sunset cruise or see the city from a hot-air balloon.
Luxor Temple is located in the downtown beside the comiche. It was constructed for the worship of god Amon Ra whose marriage anniversary to his wife (Mut) was celebrated once a year. The construction of the temple dates back to Amenhotep III and Ramses II, the entrance of the temple is a huge pylon constructed by Ramses II. It includes two huge statues representing the king seated. Two obelisks precede the temple, one of them still exists and the other is erected at Concorde Square in Paris. This temple is also famous for its huge columns which end with the shape of papyrus plant, its façade is decorated with inscriptions tell the story of Qadesh battle between Ramses II and Hetties.
Karnak Temples is a complex of temples, it is 3 km from Luxor Temple, known to the ancient Egyptians as “Iput-Isut”, the most imposing of places, Karnak Temples are built on a massive scale. The temple complex covers a hundred acres; its history spans throughout thirteen centuries.
The temples start with the Avenue of Rams which representing god Amon: (symbol of fertility and growth). Beneath the rams’ heads, small statues of Ramses II were carved. This complex consistes of three temples, the biggest part of it dedicated to god “Amon”, the smallest part was for god “khunsu”, Thebes god, but the southern part was for goddess “Mut”.

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