The Luxor Temple gleams like a fairy palace from across the river, lights have been installed to make a night display. The Festive Look of sharp shadows and bright light in the evening is more suggestive of its original impression – all brightly painted and busy with priests and pilgrims –than the naked ruin whose every defect is harshly shown by the sun, visit at night if you can, Winter opening hours are 6.00 am to 9.00 pm and tickets cost EGP 50.
Aesthetically, Luxor Temple is finer than Karnak, almost all of it was the work of man, this one was Amenhotep IIIs offering To Amun, located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city, This site was sacred before Amenhotep III raised his large temple. Every year the god Amun came here to procreate during a festival called opet – beginning one new year s day Amun left his house the temple of Karnak and sailed in the sacred boat two miles up the river to Luxor, leading his wife (the goddess Mut and his son khonsu .in Luxor temple Amun was cloistered for ten days before returning home .during those days of privacy he symbolically impregnated his wife which insured that the earth would be fertile for another year .thus the southern harem as ancient Egyptian called Luxor temple was more than a place where Amun visited it represented the power of creation and fertility
Luxor Temple. The massive first pylon, 21m high, which was a later addition by Rameses II. Six statues of Rameses stood before the pylon and the obelisk. The pylon is decorated on its outer with scenes of the battles of Rameses II and the famous ‘battle poem.
Rameses the Great later added two pylons in front and a courtyard skewed to face the direction of Karnak Temple, alexander the great added rooms in the rear . in Roman times a large number of brick buildings surrounded the temple, perhaps forming an army encampment, an avenue of hundreds of sphinxes originally stretched two miles to Karnak some have been found and replaced.
Large statues of Ramses sit in front of the pylons along with one obelisk (the other obelisk was removed to the palace de la Concorde in Paris ), the pylons which depict Ramesses battle at Kadesh each show two vertical slots for flagpoles. The courtyard beyond the pylons was added by Ramses, who placed statues of himself between rows of columns.to the left as high as the temple roof, a small mosque perches incongruously. the mosque was built on the silt of ages which had risen so high by our era.
On the left near the corner of the courtyard is an original small temple by Thutmose III with reliefs recurved by Rameses. In the far left corner of the courtyard is an unusual relief showing this very temple as it looked when festive and new. A procession of 17 sons of Rameses precedes this scene behind which troop sacrificial oxen, strangely bedecked.
Two large seated statues of Ramses lead into a colonnade hall-the the first of the structures of Amunhotep III. this narrow entry is an unusual feature for an Egyptian temple preceding the expected courtyard. The walls contain scenes of the Opet procession and festival. After the hall, the temple proper commences with a grand court and then a hypostyle hall of lovely harmony. near the end on the left, is a Roman altar dedicated to Constantine. the final part, the holy of holies, begins with a columned room later remodeled to make a chapel for the worship of Roman emperors. Fragments of Roman painting can be picked out here ad there flanking either side are small sanctuaries dedicated to Mut (the mother )on the left and khounsu the son on the right.
Farther back in the darkness, a small offering precedes a room for the sacred boat that the statue of Amun. inside the room, Alexander the Great left a tiny shrine.to the left of the chapel, a small room shows Amenhotep ||| s coronation and behind this is another room with pictures of his divine birth. on the walls are the two gods of childbirth the dwarf Bes, with hanging tongue, and Thoris, and erect fat hippopotamus with four breasts.