Luxor Egypt- Temples, Tombs, and Museums
Luxor Egypt was the capital of the New Kingdom– Luxor Egypt for centuries was the most important city in Egypt. Crossing the Nile one reaches the left bank of Luxor Egypt where the richest and most famous necropolis in the World is situated. Deir El Bahari one of the most splendid temples in Luxor Egypt, was built by Queen Hatshepsut around 1500 BC.
This beautiful temple was built on the east bank of Luxor Egypt by Amenhotep III, ’’The Magnificent’ ’With his wife Queen Tiy, whom he dearly loved, he ruled Egypt during the peaceful and stable 18thDynasty. The Temple was dedicated to the Theban triad: the great god Amon-Ra, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu. During the reign of Amenhotep the son of Akhenaten, the Temple of Luxor suffered some damage when the name and figure of Amon were erased, but it was reconstructed in the reigns of Tutankhamon and Horemhab.In the 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II carried out major work there, particularly when he constructed a new court and entrance.
This is the great national monument of Egypt which has no equal. its a temple within the temple, shrine within the shrine, It is not a single temple. but where almost all the Pharaohs of Luxor Egypt particularly of the New Kingdom, wished to record their names and deeds for posterity. Through most of the structures that were built in honor of Amon-Ra, his consort Mut and son Khonsu, there were numerous shrines within the complex dedicated to what might be called ‘guest deities’ like Ptah of Memphis and Osiris of Abydos.
The necropolis lies on the western bank of the Nile at Luxor Egypt. Its monuments include a series of mortuary temples built by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom, The royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, and hundreds of tombs of nobles that extend from Asaf in the south to Dar Abu Naga in the north to Asaf in the south.
Although it is known as the ‘city of the dead’, the necropolis was once a populated and busy community.
Mortuary Temples- The Colossi of Memnon and its companion
These two statues welcome visitors to Luxor, Egypt. They are all that remain of what was once the largest mortuary temple in the necropolis, that of AmenhotepIII.It is somewhat difficult, today, to imagine a temple which, with gardens and lake, extended from the Ramesseum to MedinetHabu.
Hatshepsut Temple (Deir El Bahri)
The mortuary temple of Hatshepsut is the most beautiful in the necropolis, and the queen herself is one of the most colorful figures in ancient Egyptian History.
Mortuary Temple of Seti I
This temple was built by SetiI in reverent memory of his father, Ramses I, who ruled for little more than a year, and, of course, for his own cult.
Mortuary Temple of Ramses II (The Ramesseum)
RAMSES II left a greater mark in history than many other accomplished and successful pharaohs, such as Ahmos (who won the war of liberation against the Hyksos) and Thutmose III (who won a great empire). The reason that Ramses II had one of the longest reigns in Egyptian history.
Mortuary Temple of Ramses III (Medinet Habu)
MedinetHabu is the name given to a large group of buildings that were started in the 18thDaynasty, but on which construction continued through Roman times. The main feature of the complex is the mortuary temple of RamsesIII.
Valley of the Kings
Deep in the limestone hills to the north-west Deir el Bahri is a remote valley. Here the Pharaohs of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties chose their eternal resting place.
Thutmose I was the first pharaoh to excavate a tomb in the barren valley and to construct his mortuary temple at the edge of the verdant valley. In this way, he believed, his cult could be continued while his resting place remained secret and safe from robbers.
Valley of the Queens
This valley where some of the queens and royal children of the 19th and 20th Dynasties were buried. There are over twenty tombs; many are unfinished and entirely with decoration. The most beautiful, that of Nefertari, beloved wife of Ramses II is not open to visitors. However, we are fortunate that there is another tomb in the same style and with similar representation.
Tombs of the Nobles
Hundreds of tombs of the nobles were constructed in the foothills of the mountains at the edge of the western desert. The most famous are those at Sheikh Abd el Kurna, west of Ramesseum. The majority of tombs were designed in two parts: a wide court leading to a hall that was sometimes supported by pillars or columns, and a long corridor to the rear leading to the offering shrine that had niches for the statue of the deceased. The walls were covered with a layer of whitewashed clay; this was painted. There are sculptured reliefs in only a few of the tombs. They shed a flood of light on life in the New Kingdom.
Luxor Egypt: Introduction and History
The ancient city stood on both sides of the Nile, and few spots in Egypt are so ideally suited to such a purpose. The rang of hills to the east and west curve away from the river’s bank leaving broad plains on either side. Here marvelous monuments were raised in honor of Amon-Ra.
Luxor, which developed into the great capital of the Egyptian empire, had no particular importance during the first thousand years of Egypt’s ancient history. When Narmer moved northwards to unite the Two Lands and establish Memphis as capital; in the Early Dynastic Period when the kings constructed their cenotaphs at Abydos; during the Great Pyramid Age when granite was quarried from Aswan in the south and transported to the necropolis of Giza to the north-throughout all these long centuries Luxor was no different from the chief cities of other provinces.
It was only after the collapse of the Old Kingdom when the country had passed through the period of disorder known as the First Intermediate Period that a noble family from Armant, a village south of Luxor, began to assert themselves. They had already shown their powers of leadership by distributing grain between various provinces in times of low flood, and towards the end of the 10th Dynasty (2133 BC), they annexed Luxor and moved north-wards. Their aim was to reunite the Two Lands and take over leadership.
At this time another powerful family from the Fayoum area ruled from Memphis to Assiut, and aware of the aspiration of the Theban family, they moved their forces to meet them. The result was a long and bitter struggle. However, the Thebans emerged victoriously, reunited the Two Lands, and launched Egypt in its second great period: the Middle Kingdom.
For some two centuries (1991-1786 BC) Egypt enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity. Luxor, however, was capital for only a short time before the Pharaohs chose a site more suitable for a central government: El Lisht, some thirty kilometers south of Memphis. Political stability led to art and architectural revival, important irrigation projects, and extensive commerce with neighboring lands. Egyptian influence spread to Libya, Crete, Palestine, Syria, and southwards to Nubia where great fortresses were built. The most significant event in Luxor, however, was the introduction of the god Amon-Ra and the building of modest shrines in his honor.
It was only after the Hyksos occupation and expulsion that Luxor and its local god achieved prestige, and then on a scale never imagined. For, after the Thebans (Kamose followed by his brother Ahmose, father of the New Kingdom) won the war of liberation, they not only drove the hated occupiers out of Egypt but swore to avenge their country for its suffering. They followed the enemy into Asia, and the age of conquest began.
The New Kingdom (1567-1080 BC) was the empire period. Thutmose I extended Egypt’s southern border towards Kush, and Thutmose III established Egyptian supremacy in Asia Minor and all the neighboring countries. As trade flourished, Luxor became paramount among the cities of Egypt. Caravans from the conquered territories, laden with gold and silver, precious metals, ivory, timber, spices, rare flora, and fauna, made their way to Upper Egypt.
The Priests of Amon-Ra, into whose hands a vast portion of the wealth was pouring acquired increasing influence, and the Pharaohs ordered the construction of marvelous monuments in honor of their gods. They declared that Amon-Ra was not only ‘God of Karnak’ and ‘God of Thebes’ but was, in fact, the ‘King of Gods’ and that their priesthood was second to none.