Luxor Temple

The temple of Luxor ( ancient Egyptian Ipet -reset ) is a temple complex at Luxor in Egypt today. It was built during the New Kingdom and called southern harem of Amun at Karnak. He was the god Amun, his wife Mut and their son, the moon god Khonsu consecrated.

The temple stands along with the temple of Karnak and the Theban necropolis on the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 1979.

Architectural History

From reclaimed building materials is concluded that a sanctuary was built here as early as the 12th dynasty. Under Pharaoh Thutmose III. the station chapel was built in the first courtyard.

On the supposed site of a sanctuary from the 12th Dynasty Amenhotep III. his architect Amenhotep ( son of Hapu ) build the now southern part of the temple with sanctuary, portico and the second courtyard. Also, the portico was begun his reign. Under Amenhotep IV of the temple the name of the god Amun was closed repaid and he built near a Atonheiligtum. Tutankhamun continued to build on the Column Hall, which was completed by Horemheb.

Ramses II had bring forth the courtyard and the large pylon with statues and obelisks. Nectanebo I designed from the courtyard in front of the pylon.

Alexander the Great had rebuilt the sanctuary. Instead of the four pillars that supported the roof, a chapel was built. In Roman times, the temple complex has been integrated into a fortress. In the first centuries AD four churches were built on the site.

Construction of the temple


The temple grounds you walk out of the Nilpromenade ( Sharia el- Bahr el-Nil ) and first passes on the forecourt of Nectanebo I. From here, an avenue that is flanked on either side by sphinxes, in a northeasterly direction. In ancient times, the avenue connecting the Luxor temple with the 2.5 kilometers away Karnak Temple. In 2004 a large part of the avenue was built over by modern Luxor, during a project to complete excavation was in full swing. Currently Nectanebo I. trees and flowers were planted between the sphinxes.

Atrium of Nectanebo I.

Only little remains of the enclosure which surrounded the atrium. There is a remarkable Serapis chapel in the northern part of the court. It is built of dried Nilschlammziegeln.

Statues and obelisk of Ramses II

In the southwest of the courtyard is bordered by a large pylon. Against this stood in antiquity two seated figures, four standing statues and two obelisks of Ramses II From these exist here only the two seated figures, a standing statue and an obelisk. Sultan Muhammad Ali gave away 1836 the second obelisk of King Louis -Philippe of France. This so-called Obelisk of Luxor is now on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. In exchange, Muhammad Ali received a tower clock for the Alabaster Mosque in Cairo.


The pylon is formed of two thick, high walls on both sides of the entrance, the so-called towers. On the outside of the towers scenes from the Battle of Ramses II are attached with the Hittites in sunk relief. On the right tower Ramses II is pictured during the War Council and the rush of the Hittites to the Egyptian camp. On the left Ramses II pursued the fleeing towards the town of Kadesh the Hittites. In the four recesses in the pylon once stood four flagpoles.

First courtyard

Going through the pylon as one enters the courtyard of Ramses II The yard is surrounded by a double colonnade. It consists of papyrus columns with closed capital. The eastern part of the courtyard is built over the Mosque of Abu el- Haggag. Taking your located in a former Coptic Church, the grave of the local saint of Luxor Abu el- Haggag. The mosque stands about five feet above the level of the temple, there was spilled at the time of their construction of the temple down to this level. In the western part is called a three-nave station chapel of Queen Hatshepsut. The three rooms are intended for gods courage, Amun and Khonsu. The walls of the courtyard are decorated with scenes of sacrifice and the train of the sons of Ramses II. In the back are statues although the name of Ramses II carry, but in part of Amenhotep III. come and have changed only in name.


On crossing the yard so you can reach a colonnade, with 7 times 2 papyrus columns with open Doldenkapitell. Just inside the entrance are on the left and right one Pharaohs statue and a seating group, representing Amun and courage. Although they bear the name of Ramses II they are stylistically the 18th dynasty and thus assigned to an earlier pharaoh. The walls of the courtyard are decorated with scenes from the Opet Festival.

Second Court

At the end of the arcade, the Court of Amenhotep III is .. He is also on three sides with a double row of papyrus bundle columns surrounded with closed capital. 1989 here found several statues of pharaohs, gods and sphinxes during restoration work in three meters deep. They are exhibited in the museum of Luxor.


In the south, a portico with 4 times 8 the same columns as in the courtyard before joins. The reliefs show Amenhotep III. before the gods of Thebes and his coronation. Left and right are two small chapels for the goddess Mut and Khonsu God.

Imperial cult room and sanctuary

Through the door in the middle you reach a room which was rebuilt in Roman times to a Tetrarchenheiligtum. Left and right of the apse are two Corinthian columns. In the apse there is a passage which leads you into a small portico with 2 times 2 columns. Behind it is the sanctuary that was intended for the barque of Amun. The figures show Alexander the Great before various gods. The other rooms can be reached through the room to the east.

Birth hall

From this room you go through the north door in the so-called birthing room. The reliefs on the west wall show the genesis of Amenhotep III. - From conception of Mutemwia by Amun, about the pregnancy until birth. Opposite is shown his accession to the throne. From the rooms, which is to join the south, only the chapel of Amun -Re ithyphallic Kamutef worth mentioning.

Purpose of Temples

The Luxor Temple fulfilled two functions essentially. Once a year - to the Egyptian New Year's Day - the Opet Festival was committed. The statues of the gods Amun, Mut and Khonsu were brought in portable barges from 2.5 km away Karnak Temple. The celebration took first 11 days, but was extended in a later period to 27 days. At the so-called Station temples a break is inserted and turned off the barges. The aim of the bark of courage and Khonsu were the chapels directly behind the portico. Only the Amunbarke was brought to the sanctuary.

The second function was the union of the king with his divine Ka It was the annual repetition - even on New Year's - the deification of the king, as it was already taken for the first time on his accession.