Overview of Luxor
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 is connected to the international airport and a port that stretches across the entire bank of the Nile in Luxor. The water of the Nile gives Luxor a 5km long strip of green on both banks.
Luxor, “The City of Palaces” was a very important city in ancient Egypt and the capital 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 from ancient Egypt since the Middle Kingdom to the Roman period – temples, palaces, royal and private tombs – for on-site visits and in the museums.
The climate in Luxor is fairly sunny and hot with average temperatures of 40 ° C in the summer months and 22 ° C in the winter months.
The history of Luxor
The story of Luxor shows us that the city was deeply religious in nature since 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 own a shrine. The importance of the city grew at the beginning of the 11th dynasty during the early Middle Kingdom and led to the New Kingdom, in which the city became the capital and universal hub for all political, religious and military aspects in ancient Egypt.
Read more about the New Kingdom
From the 18th to the 20th dynasty, many kings and queens built their temples to honor the gods as King Amenhotep the Third built the temple for the god Amun, his wife, goddess Mut and their son Khonsu the Luxor Temple. Amun’s power soon grew stronger as 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 buildings and constructions were carried out, many kings and queens wanted to perpetuate their legacy. It became common during the New Kingdom for a king or queen to be buried in Thebes, as many royal tombs such as the tomb of Ramses the Great, Tutankhamun, Thutmose III, Nefertiti and many more show.
Luxor is famous for the magnificent Temple of Hatshepsut, which reflects the true artistic design and classic architecture of that time. One of the last figures to add something new to the city was Alexander the Great when he added a granite shrine to the Luxor Temple.
The ancient Egyptian nature of Luxor did not change, even when the Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic era came to Luxor and many churches and mosques were built nearby or even at some of the temples. Luxor was still a window on 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 world’s largest open-air museum with trips to Egypt and take an interesting day trip with a private Egyptology. Or you can visit Luxor as part of your Nile cruise and let yourself be captivated by the pharaohs.