The Temple of Karnak

The Temple of Karnak is the largest Temple in the World! The complex contains a group of Temples such as the Great Temple of Amon Ra, The Temple of Khonso, The Ipt Temple, The Temple of Ptah, the Temple of Montho and the Temple of the God Osiris. A 20m high, mud brick enclosure wall, surrounded all of these buildings.
This great Temple of Amon Ra was known during the Middle Kingdom period as Ipt-Swt, which means the Selected Spot. It was also called Pr-Imn, which means the House of Amon. The name Al-Karnak in Arabic was derived from Karnak, which means fortified village, probably because the Arabs found many Temples and buildings in the area when they entered it for first time.
On your way towards the entrance you will find a ram-headed avenue of Sphinxes, which was built to protect the Temple. There are 20 rams on each side, extending from the small harbour to the 1st Pylon, which was built during the time of King Nektanebo I (30th Dynasty). As you cross this pylon, it takes you into an Open court, whose dimensions are100m long by 80m wide, built during the 22nd Dynasty, and containing rows of bud papyrus columns.

In the middle of the 1st Open court, there is a huge column, which is 21m high and has a bud papyrus capital. This part is known as the kiosk of Taharqa who ruled during the 25th Dynasty. This is the only column left from a colonnade that once had 10 columns.
On the left side of this Court there are 3 chapels, which were built by King Seti II for the “Triad of Thebes”. On the right side is the Temple of Ramses III. This Temple consists of a small pylon, an open court and Hypostyle hall, leading to the sanctuary.

Horemheb built the 2nd Pylon during the 18th Dynasty, though it is now badly damaged. Ramses I, the founder of the 19th Dynasty, later completed it. Passing the 2nd Pylon, we enter the Great Hypostyle Hall, which measures 103m in length and 52m in width. It contains 134 papyrus columns; each column is about 22m in height and 3.5m in diameter. Amenhotep III built it and Ramses I, Seti I, and Ramses II decorated it, while King Seti I erected the other 122 columns in 14 rows.
The ceiling in the centre is higher than the laterals, and it allows light into this spot, which was the processional avenue of the Triad during the festival of the Opet. The scenes of the Hypostyle Hall represent King Seti I, in front of different deities, making offerings, while the southern wall is decorated with scenes of Ramses II, making offerings to the different deities or worshipping the Triad of Thebes.

The Hypostyle Hall leads to The 3rd Pylon, which was built by Amenhotep III. It is remarkable that stones from previous periods were found incrusted in that Pylon, for example, the marble alabaster of Amenhotep I!

Crossing the 3rd Pylon, you come to an open, rectangular court, which is known as the Court of Tuthmosis I. In this court, Tuthmosis I erected 2 obelisks, as most probably this area was the main entrance of the Temple during his reign. Unfortunately, only one obelisk has survived: 19m high and around 310 tons in weight.

From the Court of Tuthmosis, we reach the 4th Pylon, which Tuthmosis I also built; beyond this is a rectangular colonnade, which he built as well. When Hatshepsut ascended to the throne she built 2 obelisks in that colonnade, the left one is still in its original position: 29.5m in height, 322 tons in weight and made of red granite!
After the death of Queen Hatshepsut, King Tuthmoses III built a high, long wall around these 2 obelisks to hide them.

The 5th Pylon, yet again built by Tuthmosis I, is damaged and on both sides of the entrance,Tuthmosis III built two small rooms.

We are now at the 6th Pylon, which was built by Tuthmosis III. Beyond this pylon Tuthmosis III built his famous hall, which is known as the Ancestral Room. The original Sanctuary was built by Tuthmosis III, but Philip Arrhidaeus, the half brother of Alexander the Great, later rebuilt it.

The sanctuary was built of granite, and it was dedicated to the sacred boat of Amon Ra. Behind the sanctuary you will see a court, dating back to the time of the Middle Kingdom. It is a wide-open courtyard that is badly damaged now. Most probably this spot was the site of an old Temple, dating back to the time of the Middle Kingdom: the origin of the Karnak Temple.

 

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At the end of the Middle Kingdom Courtyard, there is another Hall known as the Akh-Mnw, or the Festival Hall of Tuthmosis III. The hall in the north of the area is called The Botanical Room. This is because the walls were decorated with scenes of plants, animals and birds, which were brought from Syria, to Egypt, by the King.

Now we shall go back through the temple until we reach the Court of Tuthmosis 1 again (between the 4th and 3rd Pylons).

Turning left, we enter a courtyard, which is in front of the 7th Pylon. In 1902, the French Egyptologist Georges Legrain (1865–1917) discovered a very precious collection of statues hidden in the ground of this court, which is now known as the Court of the Cashet. The 7th Pylon, which is badly damaged, was built by Tuthmosis III.

Crossing the 7th Pylon to the court beyond, you will see 2 statues of Ramses II and Tuthmosis III.

The 8th Pylon was built by Hatshepsut, decorated by Tuthmosis III, and restored by Seti I. The scenes on the façade of the Pylon represent Hatshepsut with different deities, and a religious scene featuring Tuthmosis III.

On the left side of the Court, between the 9th and 10th Pylons, are the remains of the Heb-Sed Shrine, which was built by Amenhotep II and decorated by Seti I.

The 9th Pylon, which was built by Horemheb, is badly damaged. A large number of bricks were found inside, which were being used as filling. They belonged to the Aton Temple, which was built by Amenhotep VI (Akhenaten) in the 18th Dynasty and destroyed by later Kings who wanted to eliminate all traces of the “heretic” King.

Finally we reach the 10th Pylon, damaged as well, and again built by King Horemheb. In front of this Pylon there are the remains of an avenue of Sphinxes, built by Horemheb, and extending to the gate of Ptolemy II in front of Mut Temple.

Before leaving the Temple of Amon Ra at Karnak you should visit the Sacred Lake, which goes back to the time of Tuthmosis III. It measures 80m in length and 40m in width. Near the Sacred Lake there is a scarab, which is considered the biggest scarab left from Ancient Egypt, dating from the reign of Amenhotep III. The Ancient Egyptians called the scarab, Khebry, and it was the symbol of the Sun God. The word itself means to create; it was thought to bring to the sun in the early morning.

 

While you are in Luxor, why don’t you attend the marvelous Sound and Light show at the Temple of Karnak?

Listed below you will find the Sound and Light show schedule.

 

Show First show  Second show  third show Fourth show 
Day / time 8:00 PM  9:15PM  10:30 11.45
Saturday French English Italian  
Sunday German English Italian French
Monday English French Spanish  
Tuesday   Japanese English  
Wednesday German English French  
Thursday   English French Arabic
Friday English French    
Fees 75 EGP 75 EGP  75 EGP 75 EGP

Please Note: An additional camera ticket of 35 EGP is required if you use your video camera at the show

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge

 Temple of karnak

Temple of Karnak

The Temple of Karnak is the largest Temple in the World! The complex contains a group of Temples such as the Great Temple of Amon Ra, The Temple of Khonso, The Ipt Temple, The Temple of Ptah, the Temple of Montho and the Temple of the God Osiris. Measures 20 m high, mud brick enclosure wall, surrounded all of these buildings.

Temple of Luxor

Temple of Luxor

Temple of Luxor Luxor Temple, or The Temple of Luxor, is among the most beautiful Temples in Egypt. It was known in the New Kingdom period as Ipt-Rsyt, which means the southern shrine. This was to differentiate between this Temple and Karnak Temple, which was the northern house of Amon Ra.

Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

The Temple of Deir El-Bahri is one of the most characteristic temples in the whole of Egypt, due to its design and decorations. It was built of limestone, not sandstone like most of the other funerary temples of the New Kingdom period.

Temple of Abydos

Temple of Abydos

The Temple of Abydos is located to the west of El-Baliana, which is a town in Sohag Governorate. In ancient times it was called Abdu, and the Greeks called it Abydos. Abydos, the 8th province in ancient Egypt, this area is considered to be amongst the most famous archaeological sites.

temple of dandara

Temple of Dandara

The Temple is located about 4KM from the River Nile, on its west bank, roughly opposite the city of Qena, the capital of the province and governorate of Qena (population – 2,000,000), which is inhabited by both Coptic and Muslims.

Temple of Madinat Habu

Temple of Madinat Habu

The Temple of Medinat Habu is one of the largest memorial Temples in Egypt. It measures 320 m in length (East to west) and about 200 m in width (North to south)

 Temple of Ramesseum

Temple of Ramesseum

Temple of the Ramesseum was built as a funerary Temple in 1304-1207 B.C for Ramsis II, and it was dedicated to the God Ra. Most of the Temple is in a very bad condition, or in ruins. The entrance to the Temple once had two pylons that have now collapsed.

temple of kom ombo

Temple of Kom ombo

The Temple was mainly dedicated to the God Sobek, the crocodile God, together with his wife, in another form of the Goddess Hathor. The Temple is of Greco-Roman structure, dating back to the year 119 BC, when Ptolemy VI, who started the construction, built it out of limestone.

temple of edfu

Temple of Edfu

Edfu is located 60Km to the north of Aswan. It was the 2nd Nome of Upper Egypt and the centre of the cult of a triad of Gods, which consisted of Horus of Behdet, Hathor and their son, Hor-Sama-Tawy.

temple of philae

Temple of Philae

Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile, south of Aswan. It was called in Hieroglyphic “Apo” which means Ivory. It was also known by the Greek “Elephantine”, most probably because it was an important centre of trade, especially for ivory.

temple of esna

Temple of Esna

Esna is about 485 miles (776 Km) south of Cairo and lies on the west bank of the Nile. It was the ancient city of Senat, called Latopolis by the Greeks. The “city of the fish” where the Nile perch was worshipped.

temple of kalabsha

Temple of Kalabsha

So called after the village of Kalabsha which is located 65 KM south of Aswan dam. The city was known in ancient times with temples, and later in Greek was called Talames.

temple of abu simbel

Temple of Abu Simbel

The Temples of Abu Simbel are amongst the most interesting Pharaonic Temples. Located close to the southern border with the Sudan, it is 280 km south of Aswan and consists of two, rock-cut Temples, which both date back to the reign of King Ramses II (1290-1223 BC)

temple of derr

Temple of Derr

it is located 208 KM south of Aswan, the temple is cut out of native rocks during the time of king Ramses II, it was dedicated to god Petah and god Amon as well as Ramses II as a deified person. The temple walls are decorated with scenes representing Ramses II military campaigns against Nubia and scenes of offering to the god of the temple.

temple of wadi es-Sebua

Temple of Wadi es-Sebua

Temple of Wadi es-Sebua It s located 150 km south of Aswan, it has a temple built by the famous king Ramses II and it is considered the seconded biggest temple of the Nubian temples after the great temple of Abu- Simbel.

temple of dekka

Temple of Dakka

Temple of Dakka The temple was built by the Nubian Agher Amon who ruled at the time of king Ptolemy II, and later additions were added during the Greco-Roman times.

temple of amada

Temple of Amada

The temple was built at the time of the new kingdom by king Thutmosis III and Amenhotep II, It was dedicated to the god Amon Ra, and RA Hor –Ahkty.

temple of moharka

Temple of Moharka

Small temple that goes back the end of the Greco-Roman period, it is very simple since it is consisting of one hall with columns decorated with composite capitals.

temple of kiosk of qertassi

Temple of Kiosk of Qertassi

The Temple of Quertsi is dedicated to goddess Hathor goddess of love Music and maternity the temple is located to the south of Temple of Kalabsha next to Aswan high dam

temple of amenhotep-iii

Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III

The Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III was built in the West Bank of the River Nile. This area boasts of many tombs which have historical and architectural significance.

temple of khentkaus-ii

Mortuary Temple of Khentkaus II

The Mortuary Temple of KhentKaus II is the temple of the Queen of Egypt. She was the wife of Egyptian Pharaoh Neferirkare and mother of Nefererfre and Nuiserre.

temple of neferefre

Mortuary Temple of Montuhotep II

Montuhotep II is regarded as the first Pharaoh of the middle Kingdom. He is credited for having united Egypt. In fact, he had ruled for a good fifty one years and thus put an end to what is called the intermediary Kingdom of the Egyptian civilization.

temple of niuserre

Mortuary Temple of Neferefre

The Mortuary Temple of Neferefre is also known as the Pyramid of Raneferef. This pyramid which is located in Abusir has indeed been started during the 5th century but has never been finished.

temple of neferirkare

Mortuary Temple of Neferirkare

The pyramid of Neferirkare is located at Abusir, the renowned necropolis in Egypt, which was started by Sahure, the predecessor of Neferirkare. This pyramid was started by Neferirkare himself, who was the 3rd ruler of the famous 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Temple of Niuserre

Mortuary Temple of Niuserre

Building pyramids for the Egyptian Pharaohs so that they could be buried with riches and all that they wished to take with them in their next life was not uncommon. It is a practice which found relevance among the Egyptian civilization since its inception.

temple of sahure

Mortuary Temple of Sahure

The mortuary temple or the Pyramid of Sahure is situated in Abusir, the huge necropolis of ancient Egypt, which is located very near to Cairo, on the bank of River Nile.

mortuary temple djedefre

Mortuary temple of Djedefre

The Pyramid of Djedefre is situated at Abu Rawash, a new necropolis chosen by Pharaoh Djedefre, in the western part of the Nile valley and at a distance of 8 Km to the north of Giza.

mortuary temple khafre

Mortuary Temple of Khafre

The Pyramid of Khafre is also known as the Pyramid of Chephren, as Khafre was also called by this name. It is the second highest pyramid, built in ancient Egypt, next to the famous Pyramid of his father Khufu.

mortuary temple khufu

Mortuary Temple of Khufu

The Pyramid of Khufu is also known as the Great Pyramid of Egypt, situated on the Giza Necropolis, over the Giza plateau, just outside Cairo city.

mortuary temple menkaure

Mortuary Temple of Menkaure

The Pyramid of Menkaure was built in Giza Necropolis, next to the huge pyramids of his ancestors Khufu and Khafre. But this pyramid is visibly the smallest among the three notable pyramids of this necropolis, with a height of only 65.5 meters.