(Day 3 Nile Cruise)
The banks of the Nile as we approached Luxor
Luxor was built on the ruins of the ancient, legendary, Egyptian capital of Thebes, where Pharaohs, from 1550-1069 BC, built monumental temples and tombs to glorify their gods and themselves. The Luxor Temple complex was known as Ipet-Resyt the southern sanctuary; it was the dwelling place of Amun, the patron god of Thebes. The Egyptians had their own holy trinity; Amun (god of the air), his wife Mut (mother goddess), and their child, Khonsu (god of the moon and time).
If you’re thinking the placement of the obelisk looks asymmetrical, it’s because there was once a twin on the other side of the entrance. In 1836, Mohammed Ali Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt traded the obelisk to the French for a clock-tower.
Have you ever seen the obelisk at Place de la Concord in Paris?
The French definitely got the better deal; the clock-tower was placed at the Mohammad Ali Mosque in the Citadel of Cairo, and it has never worked.
Colossi of Ramses
Carved from black granite
As with the other temples we’ve visited on our Nile Cruise, Luxor temple was also buried by the desert’s shifting sands. This venerated ground has layers of religions. When the Romans came and set up a military camp, they brought the cult practices of their emperor. Then, during the 6th century Christian era, a basilica was built inside Amun’s ancient home. Finally, in the 14 century, Islam constructed its layer. In the above photo, it is not an elaborate window but a door that you see. This marks ground level when the Mosque Abu al-Haggag was built.
Cactus/cacti – colossus/colossi
Ramses II ruled for 67 years and is said to have fathered 100 or so children with his harem of wives. Some believe he is the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
A double row of papyrus columns with standing Ramses II statues surround the Courtyard of Ramses II.
Here you see double Hapys tying together Upper and Lower Egypt. Hapy is a Nile god, he is the flood waters that bring fertility, life, and destruction. He is depicted with a fat belly (abundance) and female breats (fertility).
Relief depicting Nubians slaves
King Tutankhamun and his wife, and they are each huge, showing they ruled as a pair. Our guide explained to us that, not until King Tut’s grandpa Amenhotep III and his powerful wife Queen Tiye were some women considered important enough to be shown in colossal scale beside their husbands. Usually, women were only shown in miniature at their husband’s feet.
Hypostyle Hall – Papyrus Columns
Barque Shrine of Alexander the Great
The Romans plastered over and painted this section of wall with their own religious scenes.
The Colonnade of Amenhotep III
My daughter holding my son, who is holding up his shorts because he has too many rocks in his pockets. My kids both had Egyptian Studies at their school in Cairo and this trip was bringing out and adding to their knowledge of ancient Egypt. They pleased our guide when they recognized some of the pharaohs and gods.
Avenue of Sphinxes use to connect Luxor Temple to Karnak 3km away
A short shade and water break before heading to Karnak