Luxor in Arabian literally means "Temples". These temples were build for ceremonial worship in ancient Egypt time, around 1400 BC which is 3500 years ago. Kings and Queens and Nobles and priests come to Luxor third week of July through the Nile river when water is high from Cairo. We saw the carving of celebration, feasts, records of major events. All and all, just amazing. The sheer size of the statues, columns, just amazing. The massive structure, according to historians, evidenced the economical power at the time when Egypt is the super power of the world.
In roman times, (4 to 6 century BC), the temple was converted into a Christian churches. Many destruction seen today, cutting off heads, taking out faces from carvings... were believed to be done by the religious radicals during that time and also later on by Arabs in the 8 century AD). With the Nile's frequent flooding, earthquake, and looting, it is a miracle that we can still see a good sizable remains of a great ancient civilization. We are pretty speechless seeing these structures. Excavation is being conducted everywhere in the city. Many projects are supported by international grants. What a history lesson.
When the airplane approach Luxor international airport Luxor looks like an oasis in the desert, river Nile flowing through the center both side of the river is incredible green, it is so beautiful.
Entrance of Luxor Temple. To avoid the day time heat (41 degree C), we were scheduled to enter the temple at 8:45 PM. Later on during the night, we have the temple all to ourselves. Notice that there is just one obelisk (granite) in front of the King Statues. The other one was taken by the French in 1830 and is now in Concorde square in Paris.
The size is the Kings. Really cannot imagine how did Egyptians engineered these structures without modern measurements, equipments, and machineries.
The mosque of Abul-Hagag was built on top of a church from Roman time and which was build on top of Luxor temple. Civilization layered over civilizations. Seems like the King is over looking the mosque from a distance.
Story time under the stars. Very enjoyable.
Carving of the Kings who unified north and south of Nile.
The entrance at night.
Our Egyptologist curator, Professor Ahmed Henu, is telling us the blue print of temple.
Entrance to Karnak Temple. The largest temple ever built in the history of man. 2400 years of non-stop building that covers an area of more than 250 acres of land.
Sunset Feluque. Felucca is a typical Egyptian sail boat. A cruise on the Nile is nice and relaxing.
Jeffrey cannot help but start to sail the boat.
and row the boat.
Valley of Kings - The only remain of the Temple of Amunhotp III. Just amazed by the size of the two statues.
As Professor Ahmed explained to us before, after the Pyramids period, the Kings and Queens started to find discreete burial sites to avoid the looting. These sites are across the Nile from the Luxor Temples. Including King Tut's tomb was found here by English Archaeologist, Howard Carter. The entrance were covered by sands and mud. Basically, invisible but the whole valley is the ground for tombs filled with treasures of generations of Pharaohs. One thing to mention is that even though the young King Tut's tomb content has the world's attention, it is actually very insignificent in the Kings Valley. The largest tomb is 100 times of his but only King Tut's was intact, never found before the 19th century excavation. Imagine how much could be in the other King's tombs and even in the Pyramids.