Luxor is a heavenly gem filled with breathtaking attractions that tell legendary tales of Egyptian Kings, Queens, pharaohs, Gods, and Goddesses. This Ancient city is a treasure trove of cultural and natural wonders and is a true testament to the rich cultural heritage and the great history of Egypt, with its unbelievable temples, monuments, and tombs, Luxor city is a treasure trove of beauty and wonder of Egypt. If you get the chance and came to Egypt, then explore the colossal statues of Ancient Gods, take an amazing tour through the vibrant markets of Luxor, and witness the breathtaking sunset over the majestic Nile River of Egypt.
Let Luxor city leave you enchanted with its mystical charm and allure that promises to take you on an unforgettable journey back in history. Tours from Hurghada will take you on an amazing journey through our article, as you will know more about the Great Luxor, its location, traditions, religious practices, tours, and many information to know about. Luxor offers an ideal opportunity to study and observe the greatness of Ancient Egypt, so. Whether you are a student or an amateur traveler, Luxor is the perfect destination to indulge in its unique traditions, learn about ancient Egyptian, and enjoy the various vibes.
Where is Luxor in Egypt?
Luxor is located on the southern front on the east bank of the Nile River, on 416km2, and around 668 km south of Cairo. Luxor city is the capital of the Luxor governorate. Luxor is one of the oldest cities on earth as it dates back to three thousand four hundred BC by Pharaoh "Amenhotep III".
Why is Luxor So Important in History?
The history of Luxor city dates back thousands of centuries, from its origins as the Ancient capital of “Thebes” to the modern “Luxor” which is a bustling urban city and an important historical attraction.
The capital city of “Thebes”, which is “Luxor” today, this great city was established by king “Amenhotep III” about 3200 BC. Thebes was located on the east bank of the Nile River of Egypt. Luxor evolved fast in significance over time with the cult of God “Amun”, one day flattering the capital of the New Kingdom of Egypt in the 16th century BC.
The city was divided into two areas: the larger and more important city of “Waset”, which is located on the eastern bank of the Nile, about 800 kilometers south of the Mediterranean. The second area is the city of “Karnak”, located to the north. “Waset” was the area of the Royal palace and the most important religious temples, while “Karnak” was the center of the worship of the God “Amun”.
Luxor History During the Early Dynastic Period
During the Early Dynastic period (3150–2686 BC), was a normal city and had not much importance. The pharaoh “Mentuhotep I”, who ruled from (2008 - 1957 BC) was the founder of the eleventh Dynasty, and he is credited with reuniting Egypt after a period of political chaos.
Under Mentuhotep I and his successors, Thebes began to grow in size and importance. The pharaohs of the eleventh and twelfth Dynasties built many magnificent and great monuments in Thebes, including the temple of Montu at Karnak and the mortuary temples of Mentuhotep II and III.
Luxor History During The Middle Kingdom
During the Middle Kingdom (2055–1650 BC), Thebes continued to grow in importance. The pharaohs of the twelfth Dynasty built many great monuments in the city, including the Temple of Amun at Karnak which is one the largest temple in the world, and the Temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahri.
The twelfth Dynasty was followed by a period of political instability known as the Second Intermediate Period (1650–1550 BC). During this period, Thebes was ruled by a series of foreign dynasties, including the Hyksos, who were of Asiatic origin.
Luxor History During The New Kingdom
The most famous pharaoh in the new kingdom was King Tutankhamun, who ruled from (1333 - 1323 BC). Tutankhamun is known for his tomb, which was discovered by the archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. The tomb contained many treasures, including the famous gold mask of the king.
Another important pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty was Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled from (1478 - 1458 BC). Hatshepsut was one of the few female pharaohs in Egyptian history, her temple at Deir el-Bahri, is one of the most innovative and beautiful structures of the new kingdom.
Ramesses II also was a famous pharaoh, who ruled from (1279 - 1213 BC) Ramesses II is well-known for his incredible monuments such as “Abu Simbel temples, the First pylon at Karnak temple, and Luxor Obelisk”.
During the nineteenth century, Luxor became a main goal for travelers and archaeologists from all over the world for witnessing and studying Egyptian monuments.
Today, Luxor city is a bustling city and center of Egyptian culture and legacy, and it continues to attract tourists from around the world who come to see its amazing landmarks and investigate its rich history.
What Are the Must-see Sites If You Have A Single Day in Luxor?
Tours from Hurghada are the most satisfying services to its guests to ensure complete comfort. Discover Luxor's ancient temples, the Nile River, and local culture on a memorable Luxor day trip from Hurghada. Your driver and tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in Luxor/ train station/ Luxor Airport to join a private tour and witness the following:
1. Visit the Majestic Valley of the Kings
Over sixty tombs can be found in the Valley of the Kings from the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC). The location of the Valley of the Kings was carefully chosen on the west bank of the Nile River, as the Sun God died at this site.
The Valley of the Kings is the place where mummified pharaohs hide out with their treasures awaiting eternity. The Valley was all about protecting royal tombs just like the Pyramids, as they build them to ensure that all these valuables made it safely into the afterlife.
Ironically, rather than protecting tombs, the Pyramids and the Valley attracted the thieves again and again. They were looted, and Pharaohs, Kings, and Queens were waking up in "The Field of Reeds" or "Heaven" with nothing!
2. Wonder at the Great Hatshepsut Temple
Queen Hatshepsut was one of the most successful and powerful Pharaohs throughout history. Hatshepsut was the wife of King “Thutmose II”. During the New Kingdom, Hatshepsut was the sixth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty for more than twenty years.
Around 1500 BC, the monument of Queen Hatshepsut would have been glorious, surrounded by gardens and approached by a grand Sphinx lined-lane.
The challenges of being a political woman are nothing new, Hatshepsut claimed to be the daughter of God to prove her strength and determined to assert her authority.
Hatshepsut temple is recognized as the most appropriate example of classical architecture of ancient Egyptian Egypt throughout all three of its massive terraces where the lovely festival valley was hosted as this temple was dedicated to the God Amun, and also includes a collection of other Gods, therefore there was a chapel for Gods "Anubis" and "Hathor".
3. Explore the Charming Karnak Temple
Karnak temple is the biggest religious structure ever built, the temple was dedicated to God Amun, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu. The Hypostyle hall is only 54.000 square feet. Religious rites at the temple of God "Amun" played a vital role and had a significant impact on the Ancient Egyptians for almost 2,000 years.
Karnak was the most important place of worship in all of Ancient Egypt when Luxor was the Ancient Capital of Egypt. This sprawling complex of temples was built over many centuries when most of the great and famous kings ruled.
Imagine what they had to do to build this massive temple! They had to design it, carry the stones, stack them, smooth them, carve them, and paint them. All of these missions are for the glory and favors of the Gods.
Karnak temple continues to captivate and inspire travelers from all over the world, by providing a glimpse into ancient Egypt's history and culture.
Karnak offers also sound and light show which is available in several languages, so do not miss the chance and enjoy the amazing performance.
4. Witness Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon was built to keep evil away from the temple of King Amenhotep III and was completed by 1350 BC. Even though the temple was damaged by a violent earthquake, the Colossi of Memnon has stood for thousands of centuries for the high skills of the Ancient Egyptians.
What Are the Must-see Sites If An Overnight Stay in Luxor?
If you have two days in Luxor, then you have the chance to visit the above attractions and also enjoy visiting “Luxor temple” at night. Uncover the wonders of Luxor on a leisurely, immersive overnight Luxor tour from Hurghada. Experience ancient temples, the Nile River, and local culture for an unforgettable adventure.
5. Luxor Temple
King Amenhotep III, one of ancient Egypt's great architects of the Luxor temple, the pharaoh began building this amazing structure during the New Kingdom (1390-1352 BC), followed by King Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC), then Horemheb (1323-1295 BC), and finished by King Rameses II (1279-13 BC).
The grand entry was marked with a pair of soaring obelisks, both still stand today, one of them in far-away Paris. The reliefs on the wall show Pharaohs wooing the Gods with rituals and offerings.
The evening’s a great time to visit Luxor temple, under the stars, with people wandering, learning, dreaming, and wonder-stuck at the achievement of Ancient Egypt.
Luxor Temple was the epicenter of Thebes' political and religious life. It was devoted to the Theban Triad's God Amun, together with Mut and Khonsu, and the temple was the yearly destination for the Opet Festival, during which the three statues of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu were relocated from Karnak Temple to the Luxor Temple to emphasize the notion of rebirth.
What Are the Must-see Sites If You Have Three Days in Luxor?
You will visit the most famous attractions on the east and west banks, plus Dendara and Abydos. Dendara and Abydos temples are one of the oldest sites in the history of ancient Egypt. Enjoy your trip to Dendera temples and Abydos temples from Luxor and explore the temple of Hathor, the Goddess of music, healing, and love, then go to Abydos to visit the great temple of Osiris. Dendara and Abydos are two of ancient Egypt's best surviving and most complete temples. The walls of these magnificent temples retain their original hue.
Traditions in Luxor
Luxor city is a place steeped in rich traditions that have been passed down through centuries. Here are some of the traditions that are still prevalent in Luxor city today:
- Music and Dance: Music and dance play an important role in the traditions of Luxor city. Dances and music are performed in cafes, and restaurants, and held on the streets during special festivals in Luxor.
- Food: The cuisine of Luxor is a blend of different cultures including Egyptian, Nubian, and Bedouin food. Some of the traditional Egyptian dishes include koshari, a mixture of rice and lentils, ta’meya, ful medames, hawawshi, a type of stuffed bread, mahshi, and fatta with meat.
Best Hotels to Stay in Luxor
Luxor city has some of the best hotels in Egypt, with comfortable accommodations, tens of facilities, and suitable prices.
Best Hotels in Luxor
- Steigenberger Nile Palace Luxor
- Sonesta St. George
- Pavillon Winter
- Arcan Eatabe
Budget Hotels in Luxor
- El Fayrouz
- Al Baeirat
Hotels Located in the Center of Luxor
- Orient Star
- Sofitel Winter Palace
- Al Moudira
- El Gezira
- Dream Island
Contact our operation department now so we can arrange your tour with one of our best hotels in Luxor.
Luxor has two-thirds of the monuments of the world, and it still fascinates us every day with its magnificent wonders. Here are some of the archaeology of Luxor:
In April 2018, The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of a shrine to the God Osiris and Ptah Neb in the Temple of Karnak which dates back to the dynasty of twenty-five.
In November 2018, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities announced the discovery on the west bank of a tomb dated back to the 13-century which belongs to Thaw-Irkhet-If at the temple of Mut and also his wife.
On the same day in November 2018, they discovered two sarcophagi and about one thousand ushabtis, each one containing a mummy in the TT33 complex.
In October 2019, The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of "Thirds Wooden Coffins" dating back to three thousand years old in El-Assasif cemetery in front of the temple of Queen Hatshepsut. The wooden coffins contain twenty-three males, two children, and five females. These mummies had many carvings, including scenes of hieroglyphs, Egyptian Gods and Goddess, and hymns from "The Book of the Dead" which allowed the soul to travel through the afterlife to be judged by the Gods and Goddess. The names of the deceased were carved on the wooden coffins.
In October 2019, The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of the “industrial area” this site was used for producing decorative artifacts, pottery, and furniture for royal tombs. They believed that there are several items were used to have adorned wooden royal coffins, such as inlaid beads, gold foil, and silver rings, which were discovered seventy-five meters below the valley some artifacts depicted the wings of God Horus.
On the eighth of April 2021, Egyptian archaeologists led by Zahi Hawass discovered a 3,400-year-old Aten "Lost Golden City" near Luxor. Aten is the largest known Ancient Egyptian city discovered to date. This great discovery is considered "the second important archaeological discovery since Tutankhamun’s tomb". They discovered also many artifacts, like pottery from Amenhotep III's reign.
What is the Latest Ancient Egyptian Discovery in Luxor?
- On 25 Mars 2023, The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of at least two thousand mummified ram heads dating back to the era of the palatial Old Kingdom (2345 – 2181 BC)to Ptolemaic period (305 - 30 BC)in the temple of Ramses II in Abydos, Luxor.
- They found mummified ewes, dogs, wild goats, cows, gazelles, and mongooses discovered in the temple, which are assumed to be votive offers for Ramses II at the site around a thousand years after his death.
- The team discovered also a massive royal edifice with five-meter-thick walls from the Old Kingdom's sixth dynasty, as well as many papyri, sculptures, old tree remains, and shoes.
Ancient Egyptian Religious Practices
Religion has long played an important role in Ancient Egyptian people’s life, Luxor is home to several religious sites and Ancient traditions. Here are some examples of religious practices in Luxor:
- Ancient Egyptian: The temples and tombs in Luxor are filled with many Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Although the Ancient religion is no longer practiced in Luxor, the temples and tombs are still considered sacred sites by many travelers.
- Christians: There are several Coptic Orthodox churches in Luxor, including the Church of St. George and the Church of St. Simeon Stylites. Many of these churches date back to the early Christian era. Christians travel to Luxor to pray and witness the unique designs of the churches there to seek spiritual solace.
- Muslims: Islam is the predominant religion in Luxor, and there are several mosques in the city of Luxor. The most famous of these is Abu-Hagag mosque which is built into the structure of the Luxor Temple, and the Al-Maalla Mosque, which is located near the Colossi of Memnon.
- Festivals: As mentioned previously, Luxor is home to several religious festivals throughout the year. These festivals include the Abu al-Hagag Festival, the Moulid of Abu al-Hagag, and many festivals throughout the year.
These are some of the religious traditions common in Luxor. Despite their various rituals, the people of Luxor live peacefully and appreciate the beliefs of each other.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Luxor?
The best time to visit Luxor city is during the months of winter, from September to April. During this time, the temperatures are pretty good and more pleasant for different activities and sightseeing. However, visitors can still enjoy the beauty of the temples and tombs, and evening meals and attractions around the year.
Family-Friendly Activities in Luxor
The Dahabiya Nile Cruises in Egypt provide a more private experience, allowing you to explore Egypt's gorgeous culture and history in a very comfortable and private atmosphere. Kindly check our previous article to know more about the Dahabiya Nile Cruises, and contact our operation department now to arrange your unforgettable experience.
In closing, Luxor city is a magnificent blend of history, architecture, art, creativity, and unparalleled natural wonders. Luxor is truly a city that has mastered the art of preserving ancient glory while embracing modernity from the great temples and tombs of the Pharaohs to the breathtaking Nile River and desert landscapes. Every corner of this city is a testament to the beauty, creativity, high skills, and grandeur of Ancient Egyptians.
Looking to explore the wonders of Egypt? Tours from Hurghada offer an array of options to make your dream tour a reality. Our operation department can arrange unforgettable Hurghada excursions and Luxor tours from Hurghada.
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