The city of Luxor is located in the south of Upper Egypt on the east bank of the Nile and is 712 kilometers south of Cairo and about 61 kilometers south of Qina. The city has a population of 480,000 people and has a connection to the international airport, as well as a port that stretches across the entire bank of the Nile in Luxor. The water of the Nile provides Luxor with a 5km long, inland strip of green on both banks.
Luxor, “The City of Palaces” was a very important city in ancient Egypt and the capital of Thebes during the New Kingdom. The population of over half a million people is almost entirely dependent on tourism. The city and its surroundings are the main travel destination in Upper Egypt. On both sides of the Nile, it offers travelers numerous monuments of ancient Egypt from the Middle Kingdom to Roman times – temples, palaces, royal and private tombs – to visit on site and in museums.
The climate in Luxor is quite sunny and hot with average temperatures of 40 ° C in the summer months and 22 ° C in the winter months.
The Story of Luxor
The story of Luxor shows us that the city had a deeply religious nature as it was known as the City of Amun and later in Egypt as the City of the Gods where the Karnak Temple was the official place of worship where every god like Amun-Re, Mut and many more owned a shrine. The city’s importance grew at the beginning of the 11th Dynasty during the early Middle Kingdom, leading to the New Kingdom, in which the city became the capital and universal hub for all political, religious and military aspects in ancient Egypt.
From the 18th to the 20th dynasty, many kings and queens built their temples to honor the gods, like King Amenhotep the Third built the temple for the deity Amun, his wife, goddess Mut and their son Khonsu the Luxor temple. Soon the power of Amun grew stronger when he was merged with the sun god Ra to form Amun-Ra, who was worshiped in his temple in the Karnak complex. During the New Kingdom a new series of edifices and constructions were undertaken, with many kings and queens eager to perpetuate their legacy. It became a custom during the New Kingdom for a king or queen to be buried in Thebes, and many royal tombs show them such as the tomb of Ramses the Great, Tutankhamun, Thutmose III, Nefertiti and many more.
Luxor is famous for the magnificent Temple of Hatshepsut, which reflects the true artistic design and classical architecture of the time. One of the last figures to add something new to the city was Alexander the Great when a granite shrine was added by him to the Luxor Temple.
The ancient Egyptian nature of Luxor did not change even when the Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras came to Luxor and many churches and mosques were built near or even on some of the temples. Luxor still remained a window to ancient Egyptian history. The city of Luxor with all its monuments was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and surprises us every day anew.
Discover the largest open-air museum in the world with Egypt Holiday Service and take an interesting day trip with a private Egyptologist. Or you can visit Luxor as part of your Nile cruise and let yourself be drawn under the spell of the pharaohs.