The Temple of Luxor
The Temple of Luxor is a great example of the charming architecture of the Pharaohs. The temple is considered an open-air museum of ancient architectural elements and the development that this art witnessed in the Pharaonic times.
The Temple of Luxor was factually named the Southern House of the Ladies of Amun. The two temples of Karnak and Luxor were linked together with the Avenue of Sphinxes. They used to be a unified temple in ancient times. The Opet festival is an important ritual for Amun, the king of gods in the reign of ancient Egypt. It was when Amun visited the Temple of Luxor, a significantly important religious center at the time.
The Luxor Temple was mainly built for the cult of the Theban divine triad, the gods Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. Historians assert that the first establisher of the Temple of Luxor was Amenophis III in the middle of the 14th century BC. Dedicated for the holy trinity of Thebes; the three gods Amun, Mut, and Khunsu, each and every king who ruled Egypt afterwards, wanted to have his own contribution to the temples of Luxor or Karnak, or in both in same cases.
The Temple of Luxor is one of the historical sites that are commonly included in many tours to Luxor. This is in addition to almost all the itineraries of Nile cruise ships that sail from Luxor to Aswan, or vice versa.
At the entrance to the Temple of Luxor, Ramses II built two huge statues of himself out of black basalt. These two statues are among the most astonishing in Egypt. There were also two obelisks, with only one of them remaining until today.
Ramses II also built the first pylon of the Temple of Luxor where he recorded his victory against the Hittites in the battle of Kadesh. Afterwards, there is the shrine dedicated to the holy trinity of Thebes. The lovely decorated pillars with papyrus shaped capitals characterize this section.
There is also the large courtyard with its amazing columns with large papyrus stone capitals. Ramses II constructed this section to be symbolize his powers and fame as one of the most successful ancient Egyptian kings.
At the end of this impressive colonnade, there are two other huge statues of Ramses II as the entrance to the most ancient section of the temple that Amenophis III built. The second open courtyard has wonderful 19 pillars decorated with scenes from the famous Opet festival.
Afterwards, there is the court of the king Amenophis III. This was where the actual rituals of the Opet festival used to take place. There is a door in the walls built by the Romans that lead to the holy shrine of Amun. Alexander the Great rebuilt this section when he became the king of Egypt in the 4th century BC.