Colossal statues of Ramses II the Great and the imposing colonnade are trademarks of the Luxor Temple. The building is admired both throughout the day and during evening walks along the promenade by the Nile.
The Luxor Temple was covered with sand for many centuries. It was not discovered until 1883 during drainage works. Currently, it is one of the main tourist attractions of Egypt. Its beauty is especially visible in the evening, when the appropriate illumination, brings out details in the statues and reliefs that are invisible in the bright daylight.
The temple called in Egyptian ipet resyt (the southern sanctuary) and it was dedicated to the Theban triad; Amon, his wife Mut and son Khonsu, as well as the royal principle ka, and therefore the immortal soul (one of the five components of every Egyptian). Together with the complex in Karanaku, it was the center of the annual Opet festival, one of the most important holidays in ancient Egypt. During the solemn procession, the barge with the statue of the god Amun was carried from Karnak to Luxor.
The construction of the sanctuary was started by Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III in the 15th century BC. Successive rulers expanded the temple complex until it became the second largest, after Karnak, a cult district in Egypt.
The entrance to the temple area leads through the monumental first pylon. It is worth taking a closer look at the reliefs depicting scenes from the military camp and the battle and triumph of Ramses II at Kadesh, as they have been preserved in a very good condition.
In front of the pylon there are intimidating granite statues of this pharaoh and one of his two obelisks. The second was given to the French by the ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, in the 19th century.
Just as Karnak is famous for its Great Hypostyle Hall, the temple in Luxor boasts a magnificent colonnade. On the orders of Amenhotep III (1388-1351/50 BC), fourteen 21-meter columns with papyrus-shaped capitals were erected over a distance of over 100 meters. The walls of this unique passage are decorated with bas-reliefs, the theme of which is the celebration of Opet.
After leaving the colonnade, you enter the second peristyle courtyard, which is surrounded by a colonnade. In 1989, 26 statues from the New Kingdom period (16th-11th century BC) were discovered there. The sculptures were probably buried by the Romans during the "cleanup" during the construction of the fort.
After passing through the hypostyle hall, in which there are 32 columns in four rows, and the sacrificial table room, you reach the most important room of the temple - the so-called Birth Room. On its walls there are carvings depicting the divine origin of Amenhotep III. The god Amon appears on them, to the mother of Pharaoh in the form of her husband Tuthmosis IV, and gives her the "breath" of life from which Amenhotep III is born. A similar decoration can only be found in the Hatshepsut temple, in the Portico of Divine Birth.