The Karnak Temple Complex-Largest Religious Site Of The Ancient World

Of Luxor’s many monuments, the Temple Complex of Karnak has to be its most astonishing and beautiful feat. It is the second-largest temple complex in the world as well as the second most visited site in Egypt, coming in right behind the Pyramids of Giza. Karnak Temple dates back to 2055 BC to around 100 AD. It is located in the village of El-Karnak, which is 2.5 kilometers north of Luxor. Karnak temple known as the temple of Amun. It also called Ipet-isu or “The most select of places” in the middle kingdom.

Your first view of Karnak Temple is from an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes at the southern entrance to the temple. These sphinxes are a symbol of the god Amun and lead one and a half miles (3 km) down to Luxor Temple as well as the River Nile.

The Karnak temple was built for various reasons related to religion and ancient history, the main reason why they built the temple was to worship the famous god “Amon” and his wife “Mut” and their son named “khonsu” because inside the temple there are temples dedicated to every king.

Beyond the religious function, the site also served as the administrative center and seat for the pharaohs during the New Kingdom era. Karnak is probably the largest monumental complex ever built in the world, developed from generation to generation over 1500 years, and resulting in a composition of temples, shrines, and architectural elements unique in Egypt.

Approximately 30 pharaohs added something to the Karnak Temple Complex. The structure enjoyed the greatest importance during the era of the New Kingdom, under pharaohs such as Hatshepsut, Tuthmose III, Seti I, and Rameses II who contributed, one after the other, to the development of the complex. The subsequent structural expansion continued during the Greek-Roman period with the Ptolemies, then with the Romans, and finally with the first Christians. In fact, each of these civilizations left an important mark.

Karnak consists of three sections: the precinct of Amun, that of Mut, that of Montu; however, for most visitors the largest of these, the precinct of Amun, is enough. It is a complicated layout alone dwarfs every other site that you will visit in Egypt.

The precinct of Amun contains all of the most famous sections of the Karnak complex; including the dizzying Great Hypostyle Hall. It is the most amazing building at Karnak. It is 103m in length and 52m in width. The Hall consists of 134 gigantic stone columns; there are the largest 12 columns which are 22.40 m in height and 3.5m in diameter, while the other 122 columns are 14.75 m in height. The Hypostyle Hall was built by King Seti who ruled from 1290 to 1279 B.C. The outer walls of the northern wing describe Seti’s battle. The south wall inscribed with Ramesses II’s peace treaty with the Hittites.

The Sacred Lake

To the south of Ramses II’s enclosure wall around the Temple of Amun lays the Sacred Lake. In Arabic, it known as Birket el-Mallaha, as the water of the lake is slightly saline. The Sacred Lake is the largest of its kind. King Tuthmosis III dug it; priests used it for purification and other rituals like navigation, it was also the home of sacred geese of Amun. It lined with stone and provided stairways descending into the water.

Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show

If you’d like to see a different side of Karnak Temple, why not return in the evening to experience one of Egypt’s most famous light and sound shows that offered in several different languages. The show lasts for around 90 minutes, then a wonderful opportunity waiting for visitors to wander around some parts of the temple while it beautifully illuminated and their dramatic history revealed to you. The reflection one sees on the water of the nearby Sacred Lake is also quite out of this world.



Are you ready to visit the Karnak temple on one of our Egypt luxury tours? Then check out all of our offerings for Luxor from here

Temple of Deir al-Bahri,The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

The Hatshepsut Temple at Deir El-Bahri is one of Egypt’s most characteristic temples and the most distinguishing temple on earth. It is actually one of the most remarkable temples in Egypt.

Hatshepsut temple was built by Queen Hatshepsut during the 18th dynasty in the new kingdom about 17 miles northwest of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile under the cliffs of “Deir El-Bahari” in western Thebes. Its purpose was to become the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut and known as Djoser-Djeseru (Holy of Holies).

The vast Temple of Hatshepsut (at Deir el-Bahari) rivals the Pyramids as one of the great funerary monuments of the ancient world; built into the towering cliff face which shelters the Valley of the Kings on the other side.

Who is Queen Hatshepsut

The Temple of Hatshepsut was built to honor the accomplishments of the great Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty). She was the only female pharaoh in the history of Ancient Egypt. She came to power during the New Kingdom after the death of her father, Tuthmose I, and her half-brother and husband, Tuthmose II, who succeeded her father on the throne.

Hatshepsut originally served as queen-regent to her husband’s son by another wife, Tuthmose III, but seized the throne from him and managing to hold onto power until her death. However, Hatshepsut’s status as the only female to rule Egypt is not the only reason for her fame. She was also a very successful pharaoh. She ruled over an era of peace and prosperity, expanding lucrative trade routes to the land of Punt in the south. This accomplishment immortalized in the relief carvings at her temple. She also contributed significantly to many temples, including Karnak.

The Architecture of Queen Hatshepsut Temple

Hatshepsut’s chancellor and royal architect Senenmut designed the Hatshepsut temple in 1479 BC. It took 15 years to truly personified Hatshepsut’s glory to the fullest light. The design of the Hatshepsut temple was very unique; as it came as Egypt’s closest to the concept of Classical Architecture. It was a turning point from the megalithic geometry of the Old Kingdom to the style of the new kingdom; which enjoyed active worship and sanctuaries to honor the gods related to her afterlife. The construction of this temple also mirrored the following temples of the new kingdom.


The Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor is laid out on three terraces rising from the plain, connected by ramps, which divide it into a northern and a southern half and give breathtaking scenery to the tourists during their visit.

On the Ground Level, there was a garden with exotic trees from Hatshepsut’s expeditions to punt but unfortunately, it disappeared. Behind the courtyard, there were colonnades with square pillars. There are decorations that include Tuthmosis III standing in front of Amun; and some scenes depicting the marshes of Lower Egypt. You can go through archways that can lead you to the second level.

The Second Level holds two reflecting pools and sphinxes, which were lining the pathway to another ramp. It contains one of the first pictorial documentation of a trade expedition. There is also a shrine for the Goddess Hathor, who depicted with a woman’s face and a cow’s ears, holding a musical instrument. There are also Hathor Chapel that contains a hypostyle hall with twelve beautiful Hathor-headed columns and Anubis Chapel, which has a hypostyle hall with twelve fluted columns and an astronomical ceiling.

The Third Level houses a portico with double rows of columns that face the front. All images of Queen Hatshepsut destroyed and replaced with images of King Tutmosis III. There is also the sanctuary of Amun that lies behind the courtyard.

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Medinet Habu The Holy Triad of Thebes

Medinet Habu is located on the west bank of Luxor. is the second-largest ancient temple that was discovered in Egypt. The greatness of the ancient Pharaonic architecture. The charm of human civilization in one of the most beautiful monuments, found in habu.


The city includes many distinct pharaonic monuments. The most important the Temple of Ramses III, known in the Pharaonic civilization as, “the palace of millions of years for the king of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Medinet Habu Name

some say that the name Habu came from the Christian priest, who has lived in this region for some years.

And the other team believes that the reason for the designation of Habu is due to Amenhotep, son of Habu, Minister of Amenhotep the Third.

There is also a third-team. indicating that the name came from the ancient Egyptian word Hippo, which denotes the holy ibis.

Habu is one of the most beautiful places on the western mainland that you must visit when you come to Egypt.

Historical Position

The ancient Egyptians, as well as contemporary local farmers, considered the Temple of Medinat Habu

to have magical powers. They believed that he was protecting them from mistakes, and he was the site of

many annual festivals. It also was the scene of great festivals on major holidays.

The Mortuary Temple Of Ramesses III

Also-called Temple of Medinet Habu is one of the most important monuments in the city.

Ramses III order to built it to be a special temple for funerary religious rituals. And worship of the god Amun.

The walls of the temple are filled with many drawings that tell the stories of the wars of King Ramses III.

stories about The military campaigns out of Egypt and the enemies he defeated.

The temple consists of a great entrance surrounded by two towers, on these towers, there are reliefs,

pictures of Ramses III. The upper layers of these two towers were dedicated to the royal women.

Great Hypostyle hall

The great hypostyle hall of the temple was roofed and supported by 24 columns in four-row of six with

The double row of central columns thicker than others.

The wall reliefs show Ramses in the presence of the various deities. In addition to each side of the hall is

a series of chambers that were used to store valuable jewels. musical instruments, costly vessels, and

precious metals including gold.







Also, there are smaller Hypostyle halls each supported by eight columns leading to a boat shrine.

See Luxor tours


the complete guide about Luxor tourism

In the complete guide about Luxor tourism, we will tell you all you mean to know to have the best experience here.

Luxor is one of the most important cities in Egypt and most-loved ancient landmarks, Luxor’s other name is the world’s greatest open-air museum.

The modern Luxor city is constructed on and around the ancient city of Thebes, which historians suggest that the area has been inhabited since 3,200 BC.

Luxor is also the home for the Karnak temple complex, which served as the main building of worshiping for the Thebans.

Together, the three places have been attracting visitors since the Greco-Roman times, all of them drawn by the area’s stunning collections of monuments, and ancient temples.

Luxor’s Golden Age era:

The history of Luxor before the modern city and is inseparably woven with the history of Thebes; Waset, as the ancient Egyptians used to call this legendary metropolis.

Thebes reached the height of its influence, and strength between 1,550 – 1,050 BC.

At this period, Luxor was the capital of a newly unified Egypt and became known as the economic center of the country, architecture, and, art associated with the Egyptian god Amun.

The pharaohs who ruled the country in this time spent hube amount of money on temples built to honor Amun (and themselves), and the wonderful monuments for which the city is remarked for until today.

During this time, the country was known as the New Kingdom.

A lot of the ancient Egypt kings and their queens elected to get buried in the necropolis at Thebes.

This place is today as the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings.

Top Attractions in Luxor

Luxor can be the first location for visitors to Egypt.

Start your tour on the east bank of the River Nile at Luxor in the Luxor Museum, where you can see exhibitions filled with artifacts and monuments from the temples and tombs on the area.

In Luxor museum, you can read the signs written in English, and Arabic introduces stunning colossal statues, Pharaonic art, and intricate jewelry.

In Luxor museum, there is a specific area dedicated to the artifacts of the New Kingdom, you’ll see two royal mummies, one believed to be the remains of Ramesses I.

If you love the mummification process, check out the Mummification Museum as it displays many of carefully preserved animal, and human remains.


The main attraction site in Luxor is: Luxor Temple.

Amenhotep III started the construction of Luxor temple was started by in approximately 1390 BC, with some additions by a series of kings later including Tutankhamun and Ramesses II.

Some of the architectural landmarks include a colonnade of soaring columns have designed with amazing hieroglyphic reliefs; and a gateway guarded by two huge statues of Ramesses II.

Top Attractions in Karnak

In Luxor Northside, the Karnak Temple Complex lies.

In the old times, Karnak temple was known as Ipet-isut, which means the most Selected of Places, and it’s used as the main location of worship for 18th-dynasty Thebans.

The first king to build there was Senusret I during the Middle Kingdom, although most of the buildings that remain date back to the New Kingdom golden age.

Today, the site is a very wide complex of sanctuaries, pylons, kiosks, and obelisks, all of them was dedicated to the Theban Triad.

This was considered the second-largest religious complex in the universe.

The top landmark that should be in your bucket list, is the Great Hypostyle Hall.

The top landmarks in Ancient Thebes.

Visit the West Bank of Luxor, and check out the great necropolis of ancient Thebes.

The tourists visit the Valley of the Kings a lot as it’s considered one of the most stunning landmarks in Luxor.

This is the place where the kings of the New Kingdom chose to be entombed in preparation for the afterlife.

After death, their mummified bodies were buried with everything they wanted to bring with them in the afterlife.

As furniture, clothes, jewelry, food supplies and drink contained within great urns.

In the Valley of the Kings, there are more than 60 tombs, many of them have been robbed of their contents.

The most famous and wonderful tomb is the tomb of Tutankhamun, a minor pharaoh who ruled the country for just nine years.

The south of the Valley of the Kings, there is the Valley of the Queens, where members of the royal family were buried (including both men and women).

Although there are more than 75 tombs in this section of the necropolis, only four are open to the public.

Queen Nefertari tomb is considered the most famous whose walls are decorated with magnificent paintings.

Check our Trips to Luxor:

1-Karnak and Luxor Temples in Luxor

Related articles:

1-the best places to visit in Luxor including Karnak Temple

2-What is the best place to visit in Luxor?



Karnak temple

the best places to visit in Luxor including Karnak Temple

Luxor is considered an open-air museum as it contains a lot of historical places, here we will guide you through some of the best places to visit in Luxor .

As Karnak temple, the valley of the kings, Luxor temple, Deir al-bahri, Luxor museum, medinet habu, the tombs of the nobles and a lot more…

In this article we will take you in a trip to see some of the best places to visit in Luxor…

1-Karnak temple:

The complex of Karnak temple is one of the most beautiful ancient buildings and one of the biggest
temples also.

As within the temple there are a lot of other temples and building as the temple of khons, the festival temple of tuthmosis|||.

the great temple of Amun and many other buildings also the temple was built by many rulers of Egypt, not by one ruler.

Every one of these rulers did his best in adorning and adding to the temple and creating a masterpiece

until it became the most important temple in Egypt during the new kingdom.

All the monuments in the temple are huge and gigantic scale.

Even if you are on a short visit to Luxor, Don’t miss the chance to visit Karnak temple.

it will take you about three hours to see and understand the entire temple.

You can visit Karnak by walking from downtown beside the Nile side corniche road.

Also, there are a lot of tours that offer to visit the temple with Egyptologist.

Address: maabad al Karnak street, East bank, Luxor

2- Valley of the kings:

Valley of the Kings

The valley of the kings, is hidden between rocky escarpments were the final resting area for the kings from 18 th to 20 th dynasties.

The main and biggest attraction is their amazing and wonderfully vivid wall paintings.

Since the ancient Egyptians believed that the dead men accompanied by the sun god sailed through
the underworld at night in a ship or a boat

So the walls of the tombs were adorned with scenes depicting the voyage and guiding the dead man and giving him instructions on it’s a course.

The valley contains 63 tombs which a roll call of famous names of Egyptian history.

Including the famous young king, Tutankhamun

The tombs of the valley are open on a rotation system to preserve the paintings from humidity as much as possible.

Temple of Deir Al-Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut’s temple) some of the best places to visit in Luxor

What is the best place to visit in Luxor?

TODAY, we are going to talk about some of the best places to visit in Luxor . . . Luxor temple and Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple are two of the most wonderful and special temples in Egypt.

1- Luxor Temple

This temple was destined to change the face of Egypt during the centuries. The temple first built by Amenophis |||, it was also known as” the southern harem of Amun”

And it was dedicated to Amun, their mut, and the moon god khons.

As all the temples of Egypt, it comprises the chapels od the deities with their vestibules, a large hypostyle hall, subsidiary chambers and an open peristyle court, which was approached from the north side by a great colonnade.

The temple was changed by and added to a parade of kings, as Amenophis |V ( who covered all the reference to the god Amun within the temple and added the sanctuary of the god Aton).

Then Seti | ( who restored the reliefs and references of Amun ) , and Ramses || ( he worked on extending the temple significantly and added a new colonnaded court at the north side.

During the Christian times, the temple is transformed into a church.

But during the Islamic era, the mosque of Abu El-haggag, was built inside the complex temple grounds and dedicated to a revered holy man.

2. Temple of Deir Al-Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut’s temple):

Temple of Deir Al-Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut’s temple)

At the foot of the cheer cliffs, the temple of Deir Al-bahri is incredibly located.

It’s color of the temple is almost white and also light colored due to the amazing rocks it was built with.

The sandstone of Hatshepsut’s temple is standing out against the beautiful golden yellow to light brown rocks behind.

The temple is laid out on three big terraces to rise it from the plain and linked by the ramps, which divide it into a southern and northern half.

A raised colonnade is built along the west side of each terraces.

At the eastern slopes of the hills, the terraces were hewn out.

Also part of the temple itself was hewn from the rocks

In side The complex temple you can see fantastic statues, inscriptions and reliefs.

Check out that Queen Hatshepsut’s represented herself with all the attributes of a male king ( short apron and beard ) to confirm that she possessed all the authority as any other king.

Check out Tours for the best places you can visit in Luxor:

1-  Trip to the East and West Bank of the Nile

2- Hot Air Balloon Tours in Luxor 


Luxor Museum

The best places to visit in Luxor

The best places to visit in Luxor include a lot of temples, museums from the ancient Egyptian times, it also contains a lot of building from the Islamic period

Here, we are going to talk about some of the beautiful reliefs and monuments from the ancient Egypt.

1-Luxor Museum:

Luxor museum is one of the best places to visit in Luxor, as it holds a beautiful collection from Luxor which tells the story of the ancient Egyptians in Thebes up to the Islamic times.

The museum also contains two of the royal mummies for Ahmose|, these mummies has two rooms on the ground floor in the museum

The upper floor of Luxor museum has a lot of silver bowls, amulets and tombs and grave furnishings

As you are in the museum take the chance to the reliefs on the re-erected wall of Akhenaten.

The 283 sandstone blocks pieces are covered with painting and reliefs, there blocks were originally belonged to Akhenaten’s temple


2-Medinet habu:

Medinet habu with the famous Valley of the Kings and the beautiful Deir Al-Bahri temple are the main attractions destinations on the west bank of the Nile

MAKE SURE to put Medinet Habu in your trip list, because this is one of the most beautiful and decorated temple

The complex consists of an older and small temple it was built during the 18th dynasty.

They enlarged later on the same period, also he great temple of Ramses |||, associated with a nice royal palace

The main temple was exactly built to match the model of Ramessum and , like Ramessum ; this temple was dedicated to god Amun

The monuments and the reliefs in Medinet Habu are among the best you can see in the west bank

3-Tombs of the Nobles :

Tombs of the Nobles

If you didn’t have the chance to visit the Valley of the Kings, then take a tour  in the tombs of the Nobles.

They are less famous than the Valley of the Kings but include more tombs which have better-preserved paintings

The area contains about 400 tombs of different dignitaries, which date is between the 6 th dynasty up to the Ptolemaic era

The tombs of nobles’ paintings aren’t about guiding the dead people to the afterlife.

but instead, they show and explain parts and scenes from Egyptian people daily life

Especially, the tomb of Rekhmire, the tomb of Nakht, tomb of Menna, tomb of Khonsu, tomb of sennofer are home of some vivid and amazing paintings

If you don’t have much time to visit all of these tombs , just see the tomb of sennofer and tomb of Rekhmire.

Both of them have amazing detailed paintings that showcase scenes from people’s daily lifestyle and family life.

Rekhmire was an overseer during the times of the pharaoh’s Vizier, while sennofer was during the time of Amenhotep ||

Check out our Tours in Luxor:

1-  Luxor Museum Tours in Luxor

2- Dendera and Abydos from Luxor


the mortuary temple of seti I

Where are the Ramesseum temple and the mortuary temple of seti I ?


Here, we are taking about two temples that were dedicated to the god Amun, they are Ramesseum temple and the mortuary temple of seti I


This great mortuary temple was built by Ramses|| and was also dedicated to Amun as Medinet Habu.

It lies on the edge of the cultivated land, it’s about 1.5 Kilometers south Deir El-Bahri

about half of the original temple only remains, but it still has an amazing and impressive monument and reliefs.

During the Roman period it was known as the tomb of Ozymandias

The south and north tower have reliefs of Ramses||’s battle with the Hittites.

Ramesseum Temple


On the south tower, all of the left-hand half of the wall is describing the battle of Qadesh

Because on the walls,  you can see the scenes and paintings are describing Ramses  in his chariot against Hittites who were killed by his arrow or escaped in wild confusion and fall into the river

However, on the right, you can see the Hittite prince and the enemy fleeing into their fortress.


In the first court what remains is a huge figure of the king which it’s fragment was originally 17.5 meters high and weights more than 1000 tons.


2.The mortuary Temple of seti I 

Temple of Seti I

The mortuary Temple of seti I is also dedicated to Amun and to worship of the king’s father Ramses |.

The temple was left unfinished by seti I but it was adored by Ramses|| with inscriptions and reliefs which compete in quality with the work of Abydos.

The temple height was originally 158 meters long but now what the remains is the sanctuary, with it’s various chambers , halls and some pieces and fragments of pylons and courts.

3-Fellucca Ride to Banana island

Fellucca Ride to Banana island

If you make your list for the temples and tombs , you are going to visit in Luxor , then the best way to relax after along day in the historical places.

Take a boat in the Nile river and go to banana island , it’s small, palm-shaded and it’s perfect place to chill out

Take the felucca after visiting the places on your list

Then take it afternoon, sit back, relax and, enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the Nile sides as the boat sails up the river. if you will sail back on the sunset, you will have the chance to see the incredible view of the sunset on the Nile.

Make Sure to visit Ramesseum temple and the mortuary temple of seti I

check out Trips in Luxor:

Tour to The East and West Bank of The Nile

Karnak and Luxor tours