L is for Luxor

Luxor Temple was built by Amenhotep III (1390-1352BC), dedicated to the same triad as its sister temple, Karnak, and contains within it 3 chapels, one dedicated to each God.  There were once two needles flanking the entrance.  The right hand needle was given as a gift in 1819 and since then has stood in the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

The temple was greatly embellished by Ramses the Great, who added many statues of himself including 6 colossi in front of the main façade: 2 seated and 4 standing.  Only 3 of these remain in tact.  Inside a large court of Ramses II is surrounded by papyrus bud columns and more immense statues of Ramses, the photo below gives an idea of scale – the bases alone is as high as my shoulder!

Most of Luxor Temple was buried under Luxor town until the 19th Century, which resulted in the Mosque af Yusuf Abu al-Haggag being built on top of part of the temple.  Each year on his saint’s day the people of Luxor pull boats up to the Mosque, a similar celebration to the Opet Festival observed in Ancient Egypt.

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