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Luxor West Bank - Cultural History

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You do not have to go to Cairo or to the pyramids at Giza when you are interested in Ancient Egyptian history and mythology. You will be absolutely delighted with the Theban Necropolis on the West Bank of Luxor. It is not by accident that Luxor is called "the treasury of Egypt". In the Valley of the Kings alone there have been 63 tombs discovered including the world-famous tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) that Howard Carter found in 1922. The last great discovery in the valley is tomb number KV5 recovered in 1995. Here the sons of Ramses II were buried. And then there are the tombs in the Valley of the Queens, the tombs in the Valley of the Nobles, the town and burial place of the unnamed workers in the Valley of the Artisans, ...

Besides the pharaonic tombs there are numerous Mortuary Temples. The most famous ones are:

  • Deir El-Bahri - the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
  • Medinet Habu - the Mortuary Temple of Ramses III
  • the Ramesseum - the Mortuary temple of Ramses II and
  • the Mortuary Temple of Seti I in Kurna (Qurna)

Hatshepsut Temple in Deir El-Bahri, Luxor West Bank  Detail from the Tomb of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, Luxor West Bank

The Colossi of Memnon, 18m high, are part of the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III. The temple is called in Arabic "Kom el-Hettân" ("hill of the sandstones“). With its 385,000 square metres it was the largest temple built in Egypt. Excavations are ongoing. A colossal fallen statue of the pharaoh was reconstructed from parts and raised again. Moreover, a sphinx was found with the body of a crocodile which is very unusual. A sphinx ordinarily has the body of a lion and the head of a person, ram, falcon or sparrow hawk.

Luxor East Bank

However, there are also many places of interest on the East Bank of Luxor, for example the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple Complex, the latter possibly the largest religious complex of the world. Both temples were once connected through a 3 km long avenue with hundreds of Sphinxes. Now this avenue is in the progress of being restored. In this context, numerous architectural changes are in progress in Luxor. According to an official master plan Luxor and Western Thebes (= Luxor West Bank) shall be altered into one large Open-Air Museum by 2030.

Karnak Temple Complex - Sacred Lake, Luxor East Bank

By the way: Really worth seeing in Luxor is the Luxor Museum. Its excellent exhibits are perfectly presented in extensive rooms.

Exceptional is also the Mummification Museum. There you can learn everything about the embalming arts of Ancient Egypt.

In 2007 the Luxor Heritage Center opened, inside Mubarak Public Library. It is established with the aim of orienting Luxor’s tourists with Egypt’s cultural heritage. For more details see here...

So, you will not be bored in Luxor - promised!



 
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