Places of Interest
- Karnak Temple
Al-Karnak (Arabic , in Ancient Egypt was named Ipet Sut, "the most venerated place") is a small village in Egypt, located on the banks of the River Nile some 2.5 km north of Luxor.
Visitors to the area – particularly foreign tourists – perceive no distinction between Luxor and al-Karnak, as the two are both parts of the same conurbation.
It consists of four main parts, of which only one is accessible for tourists and the general public. This is also the "main" temple part and by far the largest part. One can probably on that basis redefine the term Karnak, as to be understood as being the Precinct of Amon-Re only, as this is the only part most visitors normally see. The three other parts are closed to the public.
- Temple of Luxor
The earliest reference to the temple comes from a pair of stelae left at Maasara quarry, in the hills east of Memphis, inscribed in regnal year 22 of the reign of Ahmose, c. 1550 BC.(temple map)
- Memnon Colossus
The Colossi of Memnon (known to locals as el-Colossat, or es-Salamat) are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.
The twin statues depict Amenhotep III (fl. 14th century BC) in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and his gaze turned eastward toward the river and the rising sun. Two shorter figures are carved into the front throne alongside his legs: these are his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya. The side panels depict the Nile god Hapy.
Memnon was a hero of the Trojan War, a King of Ethiopia who led his armies from Africa into Asia Minor to help defend the beleaguered city but was ultimately slain by Achilles. Whether associating the Colossi with his name was whimsy or wishful thinking on the part of the Greeks – they generally referred to the entire Theban Necropolis as the "Memnonium" – the name has remained in common use for the past 2000 years.
- Deir el-Bahri (Temple of Hatshepsut)
Deir el-Bahri (Arabic dayr al-bahri, literally meaning, “The Northern Monastery”) is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt.
The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty. During the Eighteenth dynasty, Amenhotep I and Hatshepsut also built extensively at the site. On November 17, 1997 62 people were massacred by Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya at the site.
- The Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings, or Wadi el-Muluk () in Arabic, is a valley in Egypt where tombs were built for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom, the Eighteenth through Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt.
It stands on the west bank of the Nile, across from Thebes (modern Luxor), under the peak of the pyramid-shaped mountain Al-Qurn. It is separated into the East and West Valleys, with most of the important tombs in the East Valley. The West Valley has only one tomb open to the public: the tomb of Ay, Tutankhamun's successor. There are a number of other important burials there, including that of Amenhotep III, but these are still being excavated and are not publicly accessible.
Most of the tombs are not open to the public (16 of the tombs can be open, but they are rarely open at the same time), and officials occasionally close those that are open for restoration work. The number of visitors to KV62 has led to a separate charge for entry into the tomb. The West Valley has only one open tomb, that of Ay, and a separate ticket is needed to visit this tomb as well. The tour guides are no longer allowed to lecture inside the tombs and visitors are expected to proceed quietly and in single file through the tombs. This is to minimise time in the tombs, and prevent the crowds from damaging the surfaces of the decoration. Photography is no longer allowed in the tombs.
In 1997, 58 tourists and 4 Egyptians were massacred at Deir el-Bahri by Islamist militants from Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, leading to a drop in tourism.
As of 2005, on most days of the week an average of four to five thousand tourists visit the main valley. On the days on which the Nile Cruises arrive the number can rise to nearly ten thousand. These levels are expected to rise to 25,000 by 2015. The West Valley is much less visited, as there is only one tomb that is open to the public.
- Medinet Habu Temple
Medinet Habu is the name commonly given to the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, an important New Kingdom period structure in the location of the same name on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt. Aside from its intrinsic size and architectural and artistic importance, the temple is probably best known as the source of inscribed reliefs depicting the advent and defeat of the Sea Peoples during the reign of Ramesses III.
- Valley of the Queens
The Valley of the Queens, also known as Biban el-Harim, Biban el-Sultanat, and Wadi el-Melikat, is a place in Egypt where wives of Pharaohs were buried in ancient times.
In ancient times, it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning –‘the place of the Children of the Pharaoh’, because along with the Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties (1550–1070 BCE) many princes and princesses were also buried with various members of the nobility. The tombs of these individuals were maintained by mortuary priests whom performed daily rituals and provided offerings and prayers for the deceased nobility.
- Dendera and the Temple of Hathor (65 km north of Luxor)
Dendera (also spelled Denderah/Dandarah), is a little town in Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, about 5 km up Nile from Qina, on the opposite side of the Nile.
Located rather isolated on the desert edge, about 2.5 km south-west of the Town, lay what Dendera is known for, the mostly Greco-Roman Temple Complex, Dendera, known in ancient Egyptian as Iunet or Tantere.
The modern Arab town is built on the ancient site of Ta-ynt-netert which means 'She of the Divine Pillar', or Tentyra which is Greek for Dendera.
- Dendera Temple complex, (Ancient Egyptian: Iunet or Tantere). located about 2.5 km south-east of Dendera, Egypt. It is one of the best, if not the best, preserved temple in all Egypt. The whole complex covers some 40.000 square meters and is surrounded by a hefty mud brick enclosed wall.
Dendera was a site for chapels or shrines from the beginning of history of ancient Egypt. It seems that pharaoh Pepi I (ca. 2250 BC) built on this site and evidence exists of a temple in the eighteenth dynasty (ca 1500 BC). But the earliest extant building in the compound today is the Mammisi raised by Nectanebo II – last of the native pharaohs (360-343 BC).
The main features are the Temple of the birth of Isis, Sacred Lake, Sanatorium, Mammisi of Nectanebo II, Christian Basilica, Roman Mammisi, a Bark shine, Gateways of Domitian & Trajan and the Roman Kiosk – but the all overshadowing building in the Complex is the main temple, namely Hathor temple.
The Dendera complex has long been one of the most tourist-explorable ancient Egyptian places of Worship. It used to be possible to visit virtually every part of the complex, from the crypts to the top most roof of Hathor temple, to every other monument located in the complex. This has changed in recent years. The top most part of the roof of Hathor temple has been closed for some years now. The last time it was open default was in 2003. The second stage of the roof was closed in November 2004, after a tourist got too close to the edge and fell to her death on the bedrock below.
Looking For Hotel:
- Saint Joseph Hotel (great budget hotel!)
Khaled Ebn El Waled St.
Phone: (095) 381707
Fax: (095) 3871727
- Most of the hotels and attractions are on the East bank but I chose the West Bank for two reasons.
First of all, the hotels on the West Bank are much cheaper and simpler than those on the East side of the Nile.
Secondly, the West bank is very quiet at night and I wanted to sleep well because I was sure to have a hectic day in the morning. It did not take me long to fall back to sleep.
We have found a hotel through the Internet.
Transport in Luxor:
- bus to Hurghada
Bus is a very reasonable price and runs at various times during the day however these buses do take a long time and can be subject to huge delays so don’t use them if your arrival is time critical for a flight connection or similar.
- taxi for five pounds to the national ferry that took me to the West Bank
- national ferry. It is a two story open air boat that costs 25 piaster to go between the East and West Bank. It doesn’t have set schedule.
- boat. They wait until it is full of people before departing. (It takes about 20 minutes to get going)