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Luxor Temple is one of the most beautiful temples located on the East Bank of the River Nile in Luxor. However, a visit to the temple can be overwhelming as there is so much to see. Here is a list of what to see at Luxor Temple – 11 things you can’t miss.

How long are you planning to stay in Luxor? If it is for just a couple of days then make sure to read Perfect 2-Day Itinerary in Luxor (7 Things You Can’t-Miss).

If you have more time in Luxor or looking for places to stay, eat, or things to do in the evening or at night, then check out 18 Best Things to Do in Luxor (Luxor Bucket List).

There so are many incredible places around Luxor and you can easily leave the city and explore them even just for a day. Find out what are the most interesting places you can visit on day trips from Luxor: 5 Best Day Trips from Luxor (Maps, Photos+Practical Tips).

Now, with no further delay here is a list of what to see at Luxor Temple:

What You Need to Know About Luxor Temple (Luxor Temple Facts)

  • The construction of the Luxor Temple was started by one of the great builders of ancient Egypt, Pharaoh Amenhotep III.  Another incredible project of Amenhotep III was the largest mortuary temple ever erected in Egypt and situated on the West Bank of the River Nile in Luxor. Today, what is left of this magnificent construction are two giant statues known as the Colossi of Memnon.
  • Pharaohs Tutankhamun, Horemheb, Merenpetah, Seti I, Ramses III, Ramses IV, Ramses VI, and even Alexander the Great incorporated many small additions to the Temple of Luxor. However, the major expansion effort took place during the reign of another great builder of ancient Egypt, Ramses II.
  • Luxor Temple was dedicated to Amon, king of the gods, his consort Mut, and their son Khons.
  • Gradually, through centuries, Luxor Temple got buried underneath silt from the River Nile. Sand, rubble, and trash accumulated on top of it to the extent that the Mosque of Abu Hggag was built on top of the temple in the 13th century AD.
  • The excavation of Luxor Temple was started in 1884  by Professor Gaston Maspero. The excavations were carried out sporadically until 1960.

What to See at Luxor Temple - 11 Things You Can't Miss

NUMBER 1

The Avenue of the Sphinxes

The front of the Luxor Temple has an impressive avenue, which once stretched all the way to the Karnak Temple. The avenue is decorated by two rows of human-headed sphinxes.

The Avenue of the Sphinxes was known as the Sacred Way. It was added by the Pharaoh Nectanebo I.

A Quick Read:

Did you know that the Avenue of the Sphinxes was used once a year during the Opet Festival?

The Beautiful Feast of Opet (or Opet Festival) was an Ancient Egyptian festival celebrated annually in Thebes (Luxor), during the New Kingdom and in later periods.

The statues of the deities of the Theban Triad — Amun, Mut, and their child Khonsu — were escorted in a joyous procession, though hidden from sight in a sacred bark, from the temple of Amun in Karnak to the temple of Luxor, a journey of more than 1 mile (2 km), in a marital celebration.

The highlight of the ritual was the meeting of Amun-Re of Karnak with the Amun of Luxor.

Rebirth was a strong theme of Opet and there was usually a re-coronation ceremony of the pharaoh.

Source: Wikipedia

Luxor Temple

The Avenue of the Sphinxes / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

NUMBER 2

The First Pylon

The Luxor Temple begins with the First Pylon. It is over 70 feet high.

Ramses II built the First Pylon. It used to be decorated with (now hardly visible) scenes representing his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.

Interestingly, as my tour guide pointed out to me, you can see four openings in the First Pylon. These openings helped to support the flag masts with banners.

The First Pylon at Luxor Temple

The First Pylon / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

NUMBER 3

The Obelisk

Once, two granite obelisks stood in front of the First Pylon and flanked the entrance to the Luxor Temple. Both of them were erected by the Pharaoh Ramses II.

Today, only one obelisk stands. The other one was transported to Paris. It was a gift of Muhamed Ali to King Philip Louis of France. The obelisk first arrived in Paris on 21 December 1833 and three years later, on 25 October 1836, it was moved to the center of Place de la Concorde.

My guide told me that the French gifted a clock to the Egyptians. I saw it when I toured Cairo. It is situated at the Cairo Citadel. Sadly, it has never worked.

NUMBER 4

The Colossal Statues of Ramses II

This main entrance to the temple complex is flanked by colossal statues of Ramses II. They represent Pharaoh Ramses II either sitting on his throne or in a standing position.

NUMBER 5

The Courtyard of Ramses II

Leading into the Colonnade of Amenhotep III are sitting statues of Ramses II.

The Courtyard of Ramses II at Luxor Temple

The Courtyard of Ramses II / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Courtyard of Ramses II / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Mosque of Abu Haggag

Before you leave the Courtyard of Ramses II, make sure to look up to your left, you will be able to see the Mosque of Abu Haggag, basically sitting on top of the colonnades of the Courtyard of Ramses II.

By the time of the Arab conquest, the temple was so covered by accumulated river silt, that the Mosque of Abu Haggag was built on top of it in the 13th century.

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Mosque of Abu Haggag / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Mosque of Abu Haggag / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

NUMBER 7

The Processional Colonnade of Amenhotep III

After the amazing Courtyard of Ramses II comes the Processional Colonnade of Amenhotep III. Leading into the Colonnade of Amenhotep II are sitting statues of Ramses II.

It is one of the most stunning things to see at the Luxor Temple! The long corridor lined by 14 columns with open papyrus capitals will have you stop in your tracks!  And, if you look up, you will be able to see huge beams that are supported by the columns.

Although it was built by Amenhotep III, Tutankhamen, Horemheb, Seti I, Ramses II, and Seti II all recorded their names on these magnificent columns.

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Processional Colonnade of Amenhotep III / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Processional Colonnade of Amenhotep III / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

NUMBER 8

The Courtyard of Amenhotep III

The Processional Colonnade leads into the Courtyard of Amenhotep III. It has a double row of columns with bud papyrus capitals on three sides.

The Courtyard of Amenhotep III at Luxor Temple

The Courtyard of Amenhotep III / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

NUMBER 9

The Hypostyle Hall of Amenhotep III

The southern side of the Courtyard of Amenhotep III is formed by the Hypostyle Hall. It consists of 32 columns arranged in 4 rows. I think that the Hypostyle Hall is one of the most amazing things to see at the Luxor Temple.

Moreover, there are some amazing reliefs on the walls depicting Amenhotep III making offerings to various deities.

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Hypostyle Hall of Amenhotep III / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

NUMBER 10

The Central Chamber

The Hypostyle Hall opens to the Central Chamber. It was stuccoed and painted over by the Romans in the 3rd century AD. The paintings are still vividly visible.

Once you pass through the Central Chamber, you will reach chapels dedicated to Mut and Khonsu. And, finally, you will get to an amazing Amenhotep III’s Birth Chamber.

 

NUMBER 11

The Birth Chamber ot Amenhotep III

The Birth Chamber has beautiful scenes of Amenhotep III’s symbolic birth.

What to See at Luxor Temple

The Birth Chamber / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Visiting Luxor Temple

  • Luxor Temple is open daily from 6 am till 10 pm. However, the best time to visit the temple is before 8 am. You will practically have the entire place to yourself and be able to get some awesome photos without any people in them. The tourist buses start arriving at around 9-10 am and the place gets very crowded.
  • Make sure to circle back to the temple in the evening to see it beautifully illuminated.
  • The best way to get to Luxor Temple is by having a driver and a tour guide. This option gives you total flexibility. You can decide how much time you need to see everything at the Luxor Temple. Plus, having a knowledgeable guide by your side is absolutely priceless! If you are staying in one of the hotels in Luxor, your hotel will be more than happy to arrange for you a driver and a guide. Needless to say, this is an expensive option, but it is all worth it. Another option is to just book a taxi and head to the Luxor Temple. You will always be able to hire a guide right at the entrance to the Luxor Temple.
What to See at Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple at Night / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple at night / What to See at Luxor Temple

What to See at Luxor Temple

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning a trip to Luxor?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

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