Things to do in Luxor

Discover the best attractions in Luxor, and Live the magic in the city of the sun Luxor, which is known in ancient times as Thebes and also the city of hundred doors, many things to do in Luxor as it contains the most beautiful monuments, artifacts, temples such as Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Luxor temple and many more others amazing of Luxor tourist attractions. So, Don’t miss the chance to figure these magnificent sights.

Who was Hatshepsut?

Hatshepsut, also called Maatkare, was one of the three female pharaohs that ruled in ancient Egypt. Her name means "foremost of noblewomen." She began her reign as a regent to his stepson Thutmose III then took the full power of the Pharaoh as she claimed to be divine birth, the result of a union between her mother and the god Amun. She also claimed that ThutmoseI had named her as his successor before his death.

Being the second historically-confirmed female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut was the fifth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. She was the daughter of King Thutmose I and became the queen of Egypt when she married half-brother, Thutmose II, around the age of 12. After his death, she became regent for her stepson, the infant Thutmose III, but then she had the full powers of a pharaoh, becoming co-ruler of Egypt.

Her Major accomplishments:

Hatshepsut undertook hundreds of ambitious construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.
 She built her mortuary temple in a complex at Deir el-Bahri, which considered one of the architectural wonders of ancient Egypt, on the West Bank of the Nile River in the ancient Thebes near the entrance of the Valley of the Kings. It was designed and implemented by Senenmut, her chief minister. Another one of her magnificent building is the Hatshepsut needle.
Another great achievement of her reign was re-establishing the trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos, and the trading expedition she sent, and that brought back vast riches, including ivory, ebony, gold, and leopard skins, to Egypt from a distant land known as Punt.

Why queen Hatshepsut was being unknown at first?

Queen Hatshepsut ordered to be depicted as a male in many contemporary images and sculptures. Thus, she remained unknown to scholars until the 19th century.  Another reason is that Thutmose III had eradicated almost all of the evidence of Hatshepsut's rule–including the images of her as king on the temples and monuments she had built. Consequently, she remained unknown to scholars until they decoded and read the hieroglyphics on the walls of Deir el-Bahri in 1822.

The discovery of Her Mummy

In 1903, the British archeologist Howard Carter discovered Hatshepsut's sarcophagus, but it was empty, like most of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. In June 2007, there was a discovery of a mummy in the tomb of Hatshepsut's royal nurse, Setre-In. A tooth fragment founded in a jar of organs led to identifying the body to be Hatshepsut's.

When and how did Hatshepsut die?

Hatshepsut died, in the twenty-second year of her reign, on January 16, 1458 BC, as recorded on a single stela erected at Armant. The cause of her death was a matter of speculation; some think that her stepson Thutmose III might have killed her because he erased all signs of her rule. Assuming the identification of her mummy is correct, another cause could be shown; those who examined the mummy concluded that it is most likely that the metastasized cancer killed her. The mummy shows signs of arthritis, many dental cavities and root inflammation and pockets, diabetes, and bone cancer. Another theory derives from the dental root inflammation and pockets assumed an abscess, which in her weakened condition from cancer, was what killed her. In 2011, researchers in Germany identified a carcinogenic substance in a vial founded with Hatshepsut, which led to the notion that she may have used a lotion or cream for cosmetic reasons or to treat a skin condition that led to cancer.

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Vally of the Kings

New Kingdom pharaohs wanted their tombs to be hidden, so they built their tombs in the hills like the necropolis in the west of Luxor, which now called the Valley of the Kings.

Valley of the Kings Facts

Contradicting with Pharaohs of Egypt's Old Kingdom who built pyramids and some massive public monuments to be their tombs, New Kingdom pharaohs wanted their tombs to be hidden, so they built their tombs in the hills like the necropolis in the west of Luxor, which now called the Valley of the Kings. It is one of the first examples of the necropolis.

Why the Valley became famous.

In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis.

How the Valley was built

Builders benefited from available geological features when constructing the tombs. Some tombs were quarried out of existing limestone clefts, others behind slopes of scree, or were at the edge of rock spurs created by ancient flood channels. The majority of the royal tombs were decorated with religious texts and images. The ordinary tomb consisted of a long inclined rock-cut corridor, descending through one or more halls to the burial chamber.

Description of the Valley

In 1979 UNESCO announced the valley is a part of the World Heritage site of ancient Thebes, which also includes Luxor, the Valley of the Queens, and Karnak. Located in the hills behind Deir el-Bahari, most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber, and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, beginning with the new reign.

The contents of the tombs

The tombs contained preparations for the next world, where the pharaohs were expected to become one with the gods. Therefore, Mummification was used to preserve the body so that the deceased's eternal soul could reanimate it in the afterlife. The underground tombs were also well stocked with all the materials, which might help the king in the next world like furniture, clothes, and jewelry. Treasures are also found in the tombs like the golden masks found with King Tut. However, most of the tombs were robbed.

Number ofThe Valley Tombs and the Period of Building

During Egypt's New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), the valley became a royal burial ground for pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II, as well as queens, high priests, and other nobles of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties. There are 63 tombs contained bodies and belongings of pharaohs Thutmose I until Ramesses X or XI.

The Famous Tombs

The wonderful treasures were exhumed from Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 and now reside in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The longest tomb (number 20) belongs to Queen Hatshepsut (reigned 1472–58), whose burial chamber is nearly 700 feet (215 meters) from the entrance and descends 320 feet (100 meters) into the rock.
The largest and most complex tomb in the Valley of the Kings (number 5) was apparently built to contain the burial chambers of many of the sons of Ramses II (reigned 1279–13), the greatest king of the 19th dynasty.
Egyptologists use the acronym K.V. (standing for Kings' Valley) to designate tombs located in the Valley of the Kings.
Some other tombs are :KV1Ramesses VII,KV2Ramesses IV, KV4Ramesses XI, KV6, Ramesses IX , KV7, Ramesses II, KV8 Merenptah, KV15 Seti II, KV20 Thutmose1, and Hatshepsut, KV60 Sitre In, and KV64Singer [the Lady] Nehmes Bastet.

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Why the Luxor Temple is Important?

Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was constructed nearly 1400 BCE. In the Egyptian language, it is known as, "the southern sanctuary".

Luxor Temple was one of the most powerful temples in Ancient Egypt, the Temple deity being Amun or Amun-Ra. Beginning in the New Kingdom period, the power of Amun’s priesthood rivaled that of the Pharaoh. Luxor was also an important temple because of its location in the middle of the ancient city of Thebes, on the east bank of the Nile. It is near the river bank. Luxor Temple is a little over a mile from the temple complex of Karnak. Unlike most other Egyptian temples, Luxor has a north-south orientation because the temple faced Karnak.

The Development of it's building

Amenhotep III was a New Kingdom pharaoh and he rebuilt the temple’s core, which included the Inner Sanctuary. Amenhotep III also added a sun court to the front of the temple and a colonnade to the front of the sun court. Pharaoh Ramesses II built the Great Court at the front of the colonnade. It was orientated to face Karnak. Nectanebo II built a forecourt in front of the Great Court. He also rebuilt the sphinx statue.

Pharaohs Era

In contrast with the other temples in Thebes, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the king in death. Instead, Luxor temple is dedicated to the installation of kingship; it may have been where many of the kings of Egypt were crowned.
The Importance of the Temple

The Roman era

During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the center of the Roman government in the area. After Christianity became the religion of the Empire, the Romans built several churches in or near Luxor. They built one of these churches inside the Great Court.

Muslims era

In the 13th Century, Muslims built a mosque over the church in the Great Court. This mosque is still in use today and it is called Abulhaggag. Scholars have determined that Luxor has been an active religious center for at least 3,000 years.

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When visiting Karnak, you're paying a visit to the center of Egypt during the New Kingdom. This huge temple complex was the middle of the traditional faith, while power was concentrated at Thebes (modern-day Luxor), and its significance is reflected in its enormous size. Additionally to its religious significance, it also served as a treasury, place of work, and palace for the New Kingdom pharaohs. It's considered because the largest temple complex ever constructed anywhere within the world.

It developed over a period of 1500 years, added to by generation after generation of pharaohs and leading to a group of temples, sanctuaries, pylons, and other decorations that's unparalleled throughout Egypt.

While the peak of its importance was during the New Kingdom and famous pharaohs like Hatshepsut, Tuthmose III, Seti I and Ramses the Great all contributed significant additions to the complex, and construction continued into the Greco-Roman Period with the Ptolemies, Romans, and early Christians all leaving their mark here.

How are the structures of the Karnak temples Complex:

Karnak divided into three compounds: the precinct of Amun, the precinct of Mut, the precinct of Montu; however, for many visitors, the biggest of those, the precinct of Amun, is enough. Its complicated layout alone dwarfs every other site that you will visit in Egypt. The precinct of Amun contains all of the first famous sections of the Karnak complex, including the dizzying Great Hypostyle Hall. This hall of 134 massive columns is one among|one amongst|one in every of} the first impressive places in all of Egypt. Going into the detailed description of the various elements that form up the complex could be a nearly endless task that we'll leave to a guide.

 

Instead, we'll suggest that you allow lots of time to explore this vast complex and admire the various impressive sights. Imagine how awe-inspiring it must are over 2000 thousand years ago when these immense structures were newly constructed.

Like all of the essential sights in Egypt, Karnak includes a sound and light-weight show that's offered in several different languages. The show takes place three times an evening, but you ought to consult your guide about the available languages of the various showings.

Stroll the sites of the pharaohs of Egypt and find out the ancient temples while visiting the Karnak temples through one amongst our Egypt travel packages.

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