The Karnak Temple is the largest ancient Egyptian construction in the whole world. The Temple, that was mainly dedicated to the worship of the god Amun, the king of gods of ancient Egypt, is one of the most important, or perhaps the most significant touristic attraction Luxor.
The construction process with each Pharaoh and ancient Egyptian king adding his contribution to the Temple of Karnak started in the reign of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC and it remained until the end of the Ptolemaic period in Egypt. This means it took more than 2000 years to be completed.
The Temple of Karnak is the heart of the East Bank of the city of Luxor. The temple is located only three kilometers to the North of the Temple of Luxor that was once linked to it by the famous avenue of sphinxes.
The wall of the Temple of Karnak was made out of mud bricks with its length being more than 500 meters and its width around 480 meters. The Temple in ancient times had eight huge gates.
The first ancient Egyptian king who thought about establishing a temple for the worship of the god Amun at the Karnak was Amenhotep I at the middle of the 16th century BC.
Guests enter the Karnak Temple after they walk in the Avenue of Sphinxes. A long rout that once connected the Luxor Temple with the Karnak Temple used to host more than 1200 statues of sphinxes that are featured with the body of a lion and the head of a human.
Ramses III constructed a temple to the South East of this pylon and it was dedicated to the worship of the divine trinity of Thebes, Amun, Khunsu, and Mut. After this relatively small temple, there is the pre style hall that was open for all the public in ancient times.
Among the most marvelous sections of the Temple of Karnak is the hypostyle hall that is featured with its huge pillars. King Seti I established this section in the very beginning. With a surface area of more than 500 meters, many kings and Pharaohs had their contributions of huge pillars to the hypostyle hall.
The most wonderful set of huge pillars is that which as constructed by Ramses II. These huge columns are fascinating in its magnitude and its height and it is considered to be the largest and most remarkable construction of its type in the whole world.
The hypostyle hall of the Temple of Karnak is 52 meters in length and its width is more than 100 meters. There are 134 huge pillars that that are around 20 meters in height, their diameter is more than 3 meters, and their width is more than 10 meters. Ramses II, Seti I, and Tuthmosis III constructed most of the pillars we see today.
Another interesting feature of the Temple of Karnak is the famous obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut that is around 30 meters in height. It was made out of red granite and it weighs more than 320 tons. Queen Hatshepsut in fact constructed two obelisks at the Karnak Temple.
This large sacred lake was used for ablution means and it is one of a kind in Egypt due to its size. Located beside the sacred lake, there is the famous scarab statue that was built in the reign of Tuthmosis III out of granite. The scarab was placed on a huge base that has some scenes of the kings kneeling in respect for the god Amun.