There is no place in Egypt that can reflect the might and greatness of ancient Egypt than Luxor city. The original name of the city was “Waset” which means “the city of the Scepter” or “the Shrine“, the greek changes the name to Thebes that later became Thebai which means “the city with a 100 gates“.
The importance of the city grow during the 11th dynasty during the early middle kingdom (2050-1652 BC) and in the 12th dynasty (1938-1756 BC) the capital of Egypt was Memphis and Thebes was under the control of Foreign invaders called the Hyksos, but the city was freed by King Ahmose and the Hyksos were driven out between 1530 and 1520 BC. then came the new kingdom (1550-1070 BC) where the city became the capital of Upper Egypt and a universal hub for all the political, religious, and military aspects in Ancient Egypt.
From the 18th to the 20th Dynasty, many kings and Queens established many temples to honor the gods in order to win their favor. In the 18th dynasty, Akhenaton (1353-1336 BC) attempted to force Atonism (the worship of the only god Aton) but failed to lead to a time of distress and disturbance. the city glory was restored again by the hand of the new kingdom’s many kings and queens who designed & constructed great temples to immortalize their legacies such as Ramses II (1279-1213 BC) and Hatshepsut (1507- 1458 BC).
It was the center of worship of god Amun and later on Amun-Ra, the city also became the worship for the goddess of truth & justice Mut and her son Khnosu the moon god in the Luxor temple where the famous festival of Opet took place. In the new kingdom, many kings and queens designed & constructed great temples to immortalize their legacy. Even after Luxor fell under the hand of foreign invaders like the Persian, Greek, Roman empire, Luxor city still acted as an important place of religious & spiritual reflection.
Attractions in Luxor City
The attractions in Luxor city are absolute wonders as the site became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 and is famous for being one of the most visited places in Egypt. It gained the reputation of being the world’s most magical and biggest open-museum due to its various historical landmarks such as:
Valley of the Kings
Many Kings and Queens choose to protect their history from oblivion by constructing their tombs in the heavenly Valley of the Kings that is located in the heart of a mountain and holds more than 63 tombs, out of them are 20 royal tombs from the New Kingdom like the Ramsess dynasty, Tutankhamun, Amenhotep I, Thutmose and various great rulers of ancient Egypt.
Colossi of Memnon
The city is guarded by the Colossi of Memnon which was constructed by Amenhotep III of the 18th Dynasty in front of his lost temple which once stood behind them. These Egyptian statues were an acoustic wonder of the ancient world, they have survived for more than 3000 years.
Valley of the Nobles
The city also holds the Valley of the Nobles which holds the tombs of 500 individuals from governors to tax collectors to any nobility who worked for the Pharaohs from the 6th dynasty to the Graeco-Roman period. The decorations in these tombs embellish scenes from daily life in ancient Egypt.
Valley of the Queens
The place of beauty the Valley of the Queens also known as Biban el-Harim, Biban el-Sultanat, and Wadi el-Melikat holds tombs of many queens, princes, princesses, and other members of the royal families of the new kingdom such as Nefertari the wife of Ramses II.
Luxor also holds the phenomenal Hatshepsut temple that was constructed in 1479 BC to represent the achievements of arguably one of the new kingdom’s most successful pharaoh, the temple is an example of the enchanting brilliant classical architecture of that era.
One of the city’s great main attractions is, of course, the beautiful Luxor temple which is known to be the house of the Sun God Amon, his wife Goddess of Motherhood Mut and The Moon God Khonsu. The temple contains large amounts of structure, statuary and relief carvings still intact, making it the greatest testament to why Luxor has earned its nickname, “The World’s Largest Open-Air Museum”.
Luxor city is contained the world’s oldest religious complex in human history the Karnak Temple where the worship of many gods took place during the various time periods of ancient Egypt. The construction of Karnak started by 4,000 years ago and took more than 2000 years to complete, each Egyptian ruler who worked at Karnak left his or her own architectural mark which makes it one of the most impressive attractions in Egypt and the whole world.
Location & Weather of Luxor City
Luxor city is located in upper or Southern Egypt on the east bank of the Nile river. It has an area of 417 square km (161 sq mi) and a population of 506,558 individuals.
The climate of Luxor city is quite a hot desert weather, Luxor is one of the sunniest and driest cities in the world. The summertime from May to August, the temperature is at 40 C (104 F) while in the winter months from October to March the temperature is at 22 C (71.6 F). There is an average humidity of 39.9%, with a maximum of 57% during winter and a minimum of 27% during summer.