It dates all the way back to 15th century
The Luxor Temple complex was built in the year 1400. Most of the temple was built by Ramesses II who was considered to be one of the most powerful pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Later, many other kings made additions to it, among Amenhotep III and Tutankhamun.
It served as a coronation and a burial site
What can I say, ancient Egyptians were quirky. Luxor Temple isn’t dedicated to a particular god or pharaoh. Instead, it’s dedicated to the “rejuvenation of kingship”. They belived that the god of air experienced a rebirth with the new pharaoh. Hence it is said that most of the greatest pharaohs were coroneted here. It also served as burier site as many tombs are found here.
Luxor Temple was once connected to the Karnak Temple
It is true, the temple of Luxor and the temple of Karnak are very close and were connected with each other through huge stone monuments of sphinxes in a line. It was called the Avenue of Sphinxes because it was lined with over 1,350 human-headed stone sphinxes. You can still see a part of the road today.
It is located at the East bank of the Nile river
The location was considered very sacred in Egypt. The city of Luxor was in itself a holy place. Nestled in about 800 kilometers (500 miles) south of the Mediterranean along the Nile River. Luxor was known as Thebes and was the capital of Ancient Egypt during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras.
That’s a long time. Luxor is that city which holds power and the Wu. (‘Wu’ in Japanese means passion, spirit. Especially the objects & places with intense sorrow, joy or power). Luxor is a must see place in Egypt.
It hides a huge necropolis
As Luxor and Karnak temples are just 2kms apart, the complex has many things to offer. On the west bank of the Nile River, there is a huge necropolis known as the “Theban Necropolis.”
Here you can find 4 major mortuary temples:
Temple of Seti I at Gurnah
Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri (Female pharaoh who is connected as the wife of God Amun)
Temple of Ramesses II (the powerful pharaoh, also known as Ramesses the Great)
Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu
The Luxor temple is built in the Nubian Sandstone
The temple of Luxor is constructed with sandstone from a region called the Gebel el-Silsila in the south west of Egypt. The Nubian sand stone was also used in monuments and temples in the north of the country, taken there by boat on the Nile.
Obelisks at the entrance was used as a gift to Paris
Even today you can see the huge stand alone stone in the city centre of Paris. That was given as a gift to king Louise Philippe of France by the Khedive of Egypt at the time, Muhammad Ali Pasha. There are actually two of them. But the other one was too heavy to transport.
There is a chapel built by Alexander the great
As it was a temple complex, many other kingdoms that took over built their faith in stones in Luxor. What a glory this place must have experienced. Romans used the buildings for their own cults and used them as a legionary fortress. Christians and Muslims used chapels as churches and mosques in medieval times.
In 13th century, a mosque was built on top of the it. At the rear end of the temple, there is a chapel built by Alexander the Great, who claimed to have been crowned at Luxor Temple. There is no evidence to back up his story though. Maybe he just wanted to brag. Who wouldn’t?
Facts about Luxor Temple
It hosted a magnificent annual festival
The temple of Luxor was a part of an important annual festival called as the annual Opet Festival, which celebrated the annual Nile River floods. It is said the statues of Amon, Mut and Knonsu were carried out along the river by a large and rich procession. The festivities celebrated rebirth, fertility and marriage. At the end of the celebrations, the pharaoh would reinforce his claim to the throne. The festival went on for almost a month.
The iconic figures at the entrance represent the deified Ramesses II
Ramesses II is said to be the divine ruler of the kingdom. Also referred to as the cult of the “Royal Ka.” Even though the temple isn’t dedicated to any pharaoh, those massive figures at the entrance are examples of Ka-Statues and depict pharaoh Ramesses the Great who represented the embodiment of the Ka as the Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.