Thebes East Bank: Temple at Luxor

Jan 20, 2004 It was with great sorrow, but also some relief, that we returned from the Valley of the Kings. Another day there would have been nice, but.... After resting we headed out for our last visit to a temple along the Nile. The great temple of Luxor. The great city of Thebes was capital of the Egyptian empire for centuries and was called by the Greeks "Thebes of the hundred gates." (photo 149s) Here is Fran with her new friends Doris and Barb outside the pylons - by now you all know that the pylons are the entrance to the temple. Sitting on both sides of entrance are two colossal statues of the pharaoh. As you can see, it is late in the day and the sun was going down. I was really disappointed that we went to the area so late in the day because it wasn't going to be very good for pictures. photo 152s) You will remember that several days earlier we had visited the temple of Karnak which is located about 2 miles away. I told you about the avenue of the lions. The avenue went from the temple of Karnak and ended at the temple of Luxor. Oh how splendid it must have been when you could have walked from one temple to the other along this avenue. Today the city is built up in the middle and the full avenue no longer exists - although..... there are rumors that the avenue still exists but is buried beneath the new buildings and it is rumored that someone was digging in his basement and found one of the sphinx. I knew the Luxor temple, like many Egyptian temples were started by one pharaoh and added to by many others. This one was started by Amenophis III, enlarged by Thutmousis III and completed by Ramses II. It is easy to tell the different phases of construction merely by looking at the columns and capitals which adorn them. (photo 156s) Greeting the visitor at the gate is the large statue of Ramses II and the tall obelisk. As we toured the site it became darker and darker and I feared that I would get no pictures. The lights came on and we were treated to a magnificent view of the lighted temple. (photo 151s) I knew at this point that there was a "method in the madness" of taking us to the temple so late in the day. I have a wonderful book on the Art and History of Egypt which I bought in Cairo which has wonderful pictures of the temple during the day but nothing can surpass my night time photos. (photo 153s) This is when my small tripod really came in handy. As we toured the temple at Luxor we were again reminded of the changes made by the various religious groups as the religions changed and a new faith gained in popularity. In this temple, however, it was different. Our attention was directed to a wall which contained hieroglyphic drawings which had been covered by plaster. As the paint was meticulously being removed layer by layer down to the original reliefs it was discovered that a fresco was in a layer over the reliefs. Look at the top of the colored area.... (photo 154s) There was a painting of Christ at the last supper. Look toward the top of the colored area and you can see a head looking to the right. Here is a larger view of this area. (photo 157) It is hard to see and the lighting was not the best but this was truly amazing.

Jump Station

Go to The Egyption Museum of Cairo - Under Construcion

Go to The Religious Faiths - Under Construction

Go to Street Scenes of Cairo - Under Construction Go to Who are the Gods? - Under Construction.

Go to Chapter 9: The Khan el-Khali Bazaar - Under Construction

Go to Chapter 8: The Pyramids - Under Construction

Go to Chapter 7: East Thebes and the Temple of Luxor - Under Construction

Return to Chapter 6: The Pyramids.

Return to Chapter 5: Karnak Temple at Luxor and the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.

>Return to Chapter 4: Kom Ombo, Edfu, Karnak and Dendera.

Return to Chapter 3: Cruising Down the Nile.

Return to Chapter 2: Abu Simbel and Aswan.

Return to Chapter 1: Introduction to Egypt.

Read about my version of The Gods of Egypt and Diagram of Temples.

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