Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple (معبد الاقصر) is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was constructed approximately 1400 BCE.

circa 1400 BCE

The entrance, first pylon also known as the Pylon of Rameses II, was flanked by six massive statues of Ramesses, two seated and four standing, but unfortunately only two seated statues are still relatively intact. One of the of the two granite obelisks of Ramesses, the other now stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The pylon was half buried in sand until the 1880s but when cleared it revealed two towers measuring 24 meters high and 65 meters wide. They are carved in sunken relief depicting Ramesses at the battle of Kadesh.

circa 1400 BCE

Mosque of abu el Haggag (ابو الحجاج) is a mosque located in the Egyptian city of Luxor. Specifically, it stands atop the ruins of Luxor Temple, an Ancient Egyptian centre of worship dating back to the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in the 14th century BCE. The Mosque was built on the site of the Temple before it was excavated. The temple was buried for thousands of years and a mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu al-Hajjaj was built in to the existing structure. And when the temple was unearthed the mosque was preserved.

circa 1400 BCE

Avenue of Sphinxes went in a straight line between the Luxor Temple and the Karnak area was lined with human-headed sphinxes of Nekhtanebo I,21, in ancient times it is probable that these replaced earlier sphinxes which may have had different heads. The avenue of human headed sphinxes of over one and a half miles (3 km) once connected the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Around 1,350 sphinx statues are thought to have lined this road together with barque chapels stocked with offerings.

circa 1400 BCE

Shrines of Theban Triad, originally built by Hatshepsut and later renovated by Tuthmosis III. These may have held the statues of Amun, Mut and Khonsu gods of the cult of the Royal Ka. These are located just behind the first pylon in the great perstyle court of Ramesses II.

circa 1400 BCE

Chapel of Serapis, built by Hadrian in the court of Nectanebo I. Built using burnt brick and was dedicated to the god Serapis, is the only one remaining of all Roman structures. Serapeum was built in a Peripteros-temple style (a type of ancient Greek or Roman temple surrounded by a portico with columns), unlike most Roman sanctuaries of Sarapis and Isis, which are prostyle, with columns in front.

circa 1400 BCE

The peristyle courtyard built by Ramesses the second (replacing an earlier court thought to have been constructed by Amenhotep III) was set at an angle to the rest of the temple. The court is composed of a colonnade around the central open area including a number of colossal statues of Ramesses II and abu al-Haggag Mosque. The great Court of Rameses II is 188 feet (57 m) long and 168 feet (51 m) wide. Seventy four papyrus columns, with bud capitals surround it and in the Northwest corner of the court there is a shrine of Thutmose III, dedicated to Theban triad.

circa 1400 BCE

Processional colonnade of Amenhotep III with the granite colossi of Ramesses the Great flanking the entrance. The Colonnade of Amenhotep III has seven pairs of 52 foot (16m) high open-flower papyrus columns, which still support their huge architrave blocks. The reliefs on the walls of the hall bear the names of Tutankhamun, Horemheb, Seti I, Rameses II and Seti II. Tutankhamun decorated the eastern walls but Horemheb later erased the name of the boy king, and inscribed his own.

circa 1400 BCE

Peristyle sun court built by Amenhotep III features double rows of papyrus columns with barque shrines for Mut and Khonsu at the southern end. Decorations depict the coronation of Amenhotep III by the gods. To the right is the 32 columned vestibule which allows access to the inner santum of the temple. The Court of Amonhotep III measures 148 feet long (45 m) by 184 feet wide (56 m), with double rows of papyrus columns on three sides. The northern end was originally the entrance to the temple.

circa 1400 BCE

The apse of the Roman sanctuary, it was converted in to a church cira 300 CE after the Diocletian's persecution of Christians in Egypt. It was transformed, and an apse installed during the Era of the Martyrs along with a few other churches around the site. The small entrance in the apse leads to the offering hall of Alexander the Great. t was here in Luxor that in 1989 workers found a deep pit containing a large quantity of statuary, buried probably in the 4th century CE during the installation of a cult of the deified Roman emperor.

circa 1400 BCE

The shrine was rededicated to Alexander the Great after it was reconstructed by him. The shrine of Alexander the Great from the four pillared offering hall. Its present shape was actually given by Alexander, but Alexander used the original plans of Amenhotep III, his alterations were to remove 4 columns and add a granite shrine. Representations in this chamber depict Amenhotep III or Alexander the Great standing before figures of the ithyphallic Amun.

circa 1400 BCE

During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area. Romans took control of Thebes and the Luxor Temple in about 250 CE, they turned the whole of the Luxor complex into a fortified garrison, and this building is only one of many major building projects they undertook at that time. Over time several structures were converted in to cult shrines and later in to churches.

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