Karnak and Luxor
I visited first Karnak and the day after Luxor, the view of these Egyptian temples was simply amazing, no words can describe the feeling to see all those columns above you, the finest decorations, the pictures, and the huge architectural development.
I had the same feeling I had in Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, so humble man in front such greatness of Karnak and Luxor.
Regretfully I was not alone and the time was tyrant especially to make photos so I did not spend there days like in Angkor, you should. I shot photos mainly with my wide angle, the only way to take pictures of the archaeological complex in all its greatness.
The images of Karnak and Luxor do not need comments, but believe me that there is no photo that can even represent such splendor, nor even near to the meaning.
Probably after Angkor, Pyramids, Karnak and Luxor, I need to visit the ancient sites in Burma or and South America to feel again such greatness.
Karnak and Luxor complex is a vast open-air museum and the largest ancient religious site in the world. It is probably the second most visited historical site in Egypt, second only to the Giza Pyramids near Cairo.
There is a double row of sphinxes leading to the temple of Luxor. There are several colossal statues including the figure of Panejem which is 10.5 meters tall. The sandstone for this temple, including all the columns, was transported from Gebel Silsila 100 miles south on the Nile river.
The key difference between Karnak and most of the other temples and sites in Egypt is the length of time over which it was developed and used. Construction work began in the 16th century B.C.. Approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings, enabling it to reach a size, complexity, and diversity not seen elsewhere. Few of the individual features of Karnak are unique, but the size and number of features are overwhelming.
Construction of temples started in the Middle Kingdom and continued through to Ptolemaic times. It consists of four main parts, of which only the largest, dedicated to Amun-Ra, is open to the general public.
The three other parts, the zone of Montu, the zone of Mut and the dismantled Temple of Amenhotep IV, are closed to the public.
The temple of Karnak is famous for its 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows in the Hypostyle Hall. 122 of these columns are 10 meters tall, and the other 12 are 21 meters tall with a diameter of over three meters.
The architraves on top of these columns weigh an estimated 70 tons. These architraves may have been lifted to these heights using levers, this would be an extremely time-consuming process and would also require great balance to get to such great heights
Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes, the great capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, the Greeks and the Romans called Thebae, also known as the city of the 100 gates.
The importance of the city started as early as the 11th dynasty, when the town grew into a thriving city, renowned for its high social status and luxury, but also as a center for wisdom, art and religious and political supremacy.
The Pharaohs of the New Kingdom in their expeditions to Kush, in today’s northern Sudan, and to the lands of Canaan, Phoenicia, and Syria saw the city accumulate great wealth and rose to prominence.
Thebes played a major role in expelling the invading forces of the Hyksos from Upper Egypt, and from the time of the 18th Dynasty through to the 20th Dynasty, the city had risen as the major political, religious and military capital of Ancient Egypt.
The city attracted peoples such as the Babylonians, the Mitanni, the Hittites of Anatolia, the Canaanites of Ugarit, the Phoenicians of Byblos and Tyre, the Minoans from the island of Crete. A Hittite prince from Anatolia even came to marry with the widow of Tutankhamun, Ankhesenamun. The political and military importance of the city, however, faded during the Late Period, with Thebes being replaced as political capital by several cities in Northern Egypt, such as Bubastis, Sais and finally Alexandria.
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