When was Luxor Temple built? Luxor Temple is a large group of ancient Egyptian temples that were built around 1400 BCE. It is the name of the part of the ruins of Thebes in the south. The part of the ruins that is a temple and is in the north is called Karnak. Who built the Luxor temple? King Amenhotep III erected the Great Temple of Amon on the eastern bank of the Nile River, which serves as its focal point. Tutankhamen and Horemheb completed the temple, and Ramses II added to it.
Facts About The Luxor Temple
Temple of Luxor ruins include the pillars and courts of the original temple as well as the remains of Coptic churches and a mosque. Luxor, Arabic Al-Uqsur, also called El-Aksur, is the city and capital of Al-Uqsur muhafazah governorate, Upper Egypt. The governorate is 2,800 square kilometers (1,080 square miles), and Luxor City is 160 square miles (415 square kilometers).
The modern city of Luxor is a hub for tourists and a market for the farms in the area. Luxor was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, along with Karnak, the Valley of the Queens, and the Valley of the Kings. All of these places are part of ancient Thebes and its Necropolis and can be found there. Ongoing excavations and efforts to protect the site have been going on.
In 1988, the Egyptian Antiquities Organization found a lot of statues from the 18th dynasty at Amenhotep III’s court. Over the next few decades, they kept digging and fixing up the court. In the 21st century, work began to dig up the avenue of sphinxes that ran between the Temple of Luxor and the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak.
Luxor Temple History
In Egypt, they called it “ipet resyt,” which means “the southern sanctuary.” Luxor Temple is different from the other temples in Thebes because it is not dedicated to a cult god or a godized version of the pharaoh after he died. Instead, Luxor Temple is about restoring kingship. It may have been where many of Egypt’s pharaohs were crowned, either in real life or in the minds of the people. As in the case of Alexander the Great, who said he was crowned in Luxor but may have never gone south of Memphis, which is near where Cairo is now.
What is the Luxor Temple made out of? Sandstone blocks from Nubia were used to build the Luxor Temple. Mud-brick walls surround the temple. These walls separate the world from the sacred realm of the gods. The Temple’s design during the New Kingdom exhibited a set of common design features in its construction. The Luxor Temple displays many of the features typical of temple construction known during the New Kingdom.
When Was Luxor Temple Built
Around a beautiful temple to Amon, the king of the gods, his wife Mut, and their son Khons, the southern part of Thebes grew up. King Amenhotep III, also known as Amenophis III, who ruled Egypt from 1390 to 1353 BCE and was part of the late 18th dynasty, ordered the building of the Temple of Luxor. It was built close to the Nile River and parallel to the bank. An avenue of sphinxes connected it to the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak.
The modern name Luxor, in Arabic, “Al-Uqsur,” means “The Palaces” or perhaps “The Forts,” from the Roman castra. Only a small pavilion is left of the buildings that were there before, but there was likely a temple there before the 18th dynasty, if not before. Tutankhamen (who ruled from 1333 to 1333) and Horemheb (1319–1292 AD) finished the temple of Amenhotep III. Ramses II added another court, a pylon, and obelisks between 1279 and 1213.
The Ptolemies also made some smaller changes to the temple. Its hypostyle hall was at one time converted into a Christian church, and the remains of another Coptic church can be seen to the west of it. Luxor temple plan: The original part of the Temple of Luxor was made up of a large peristyle court and a complex of halls and chambers behind it. In one hall, there is a monument to Alexander the Great made of granite.
A double row of elegant papyrus-cluster columns with capitals that resemble the umbels of a papyrus plant in bloom surrounds the great peristyle forecourt on three sides. At the north end, there was supposed to be a doorway between two pylon towers. But this plan was changed, and a beautiful colonnade with 14 columns 52 feet (16 meters) tall was added instead. This colonnade, which also has papyrus-wrapped capitals, may have been made for the central nave of a hypostyle hall like the one at Karnak, but the side aisles were never built.
Instead, walls were built down each side to close it in. Ramses II added an outer court with huge statues of himself between the columns of a double colonnade. He also built a tall pylon and painted scenes from festivals and his wars in Syria on it. In front of the pylon, there were huge statues of the pharaoh, some of which still stand, and a pair of obelisks. One of the obelisks still stands, while the other was taken down in 1831 and put back up in Paris at the Place de la Concorde.
Luxor Temple History
The political power of Thebes went down, but Luxor stayed the most crowded part of town, with people crowding around the Ramesside pylon. The headquarters of a Roman legion were in the temple from the 18th dynasty. The Copts constructed churches around the temple and in the Ramesside court. During the Fatimid period (909–1171), a mosque was built on top of the church’s foundations in the court.
The mosque was named after a local saint named Sheikh Yusuf al-Haggag, who is said to have brought Islam to Luxor. His feast is celebrated with a boat parade that looks like an old ritual called the festival of Opet. Amon was said to have come from Karnak on his state barge to visit his other temple at Luxor on the 19th day of the second month.
People from Thebes dressed in holiday clothes went with him. Reliefs on the walls of the great colonnade show people getting ready for the festival procession of sacred barks. Its main use was during the Opet festivals, which happen every year. During these celebrations, the statues of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu were moved from Karnak to the Avenue of Sphinxes and then back to this spot when the water rose.
Abu Haggag Mosque
The active Abu Haggag Mosque is located within the temple, standing on the ancient columns themselves. In 395 AD, the Romans turned that part of the Luxor Temple into a church. In 640 AD, it became a mosque, making it a place of worship for more than 3,400 years. So, the Luxor Temple is the oldest building in the world that is still used for something other than archeology or tourism.