Thebes is the principal city of Upper Egypt. It is located about 700 km. to the south of Cairo. The importance of Luxor is not only a modern one but it started since the beginning of the ancient Egyptian history. The archaeological remains of the temples and the ancient city are on the east bank of the Nile, while the west bank-which is considered the land of the dead-is the site of the mortuary temples & tombs of kings.
The name ‘Luxor’ is a European name from which is derived the Arabic name ‘Al-Uqsor’ means ‘the palaces’ referring to the temples in the city.
The New Kingdom was the most important period in the Theban history. You will be charmed with the great history of Luxor
THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS
The Valley of the Kings is known in Arabic as ‘Wadi El-Muluk’. It
is the place where the Pharaohs were buried in the New Kingdom, the first one to be buried in the valley was Thutmosis I from the 18th while the last one was Ramesses XI from the 20th Dynasty.
It is located on the west bank of the Nile across Thebes now modern Luxor. It contains around 62 tombs, 26 of them are royal tombs. The most renowned tombs are the tomb of king Seti I and that of king Tutankhamen.
The Queens were used to be buried in another place, a kilometer and a half to the southwest of that of the Kings, which is called “the Valley of the Queens”; the tomb of Queen Nefertari is the bestexample in the valley.
THE TWO COLOSSI OF MEMNON
The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep III’s mortuary temple. But unfortunately the temple is completely destroyed. A legend is connected with these two statues as in the early years of the 1st century; an earthquake shattered the northern colossus, collapsing it from the waist up. So when the air passes through it, it makes a sound like a light moaning or whistling, and for some travelers it was like a sad song. Then it was turned by Greek poets to a fine legend, they said that the stone that sings represent Memnon, the son of Aurora and Titon, and king of Egypt and Ethiopia. He was a hero in the Trojan War and was sent to defend the enemies but eventually he was slain by Achilles. Aurora his mother used to pray for her son every day and he replies her through the statues.
The mysterious vocalizations of the broken colossus ceased in 199 AD, when Emperor Septimius Severus, reassembled the statue.
DEIR EL BAHARI
The temple belongs to Queen Hatshepsut, the only queen who ruled Egypt. This temple’s original name was “the holy of the holies”; while its modern name is “Deir El Bahari” which means “the northern monastery” due to the existence of a monastery dating to the 4th Century A.D. it consists of a series of vast terraces which ultimately lead to the sanctuary. The temple was built by the famous architect Senenmut.
THE KARNAK TEMPLE
The complex of temples of Karnak is considered one of the most enormous structure buildings in the history of mankind. Building this temple started from the middle kingdom till the Ptolemaic period. It was considered the house of gods on earth in ancient Egypt. The temple has some unique features, statues belonging to different eras as well as huge obelisks.
The temple lies within the modern city of Luxor, king Amenhotep III started building the temple and it was continued by king Ramses II. The temple has a unique pylon decorated with scenes of the battle of Kadesh led by Ramses II.
The pylon is preceeded by colossal statues for the king as well as a wonderful obelisk.