Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt

Topics Covered:

  • Karnak Temple Location

  • History of the Karnak Temple
  • Highlights of the Karnak Temple





Egypt traveling cannot be completed without seeing the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Upper Egypt is often considered the more restored and original structure than the Luxor Temple. However, both Temples hold their unique history. Karnak Temple is situated next to small Karnak Village along the Corniche on the East Bank, a short walk from Luxor Temple and the city of Luxor. 

Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt


A one hour flight from Cairo, 3 hours by road from the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, and 3 hours by road from Aswan, Luxor is easily accessible by many transport links including trains between Cairo and Aswan. 


Karnak Temple has many functions, It also an important acted as an intellectual center, a spectacular complex of Temples, Chapels, Pylons, Obelisks, and Sanctuaries covering more than 400 ha (900 acres) – enough space for 10 Cathedrals. Every pharaoh of note built, destroyed, enlarged, embellished or restored part of the complex to express his devotion to Amun. In the process, Karnak became one of the largest and most magnificent temple complexes in the ancient world.
The most accessible part of Karnak is the Precinct of Amun, which seems like an endless succession of massive pylons (Temple gateways), monumental statues and grand hypostyle walls. The precinct is approached from the “Processional Way of ram-headed sphinxes (Amun was often represented as a human wearing ram horns), which connected with the temple of Luxor. This leads to the First Pylon which, at 43m (141 feet) high and 130m (426 feet) wide is the largest in Egypt, even though it was never finished. In the forecourt, you’ll find Seti II’s shrine, which housed the sacred boats of the triad and, in the south corner, the superb Temple of Ramses III (20th Dynasty),
Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt


Highlights of the Karnak Temple

Behind the Second Pylon lies the 13th-century BC Great Hypostyle Hall-an an amazing forest” of more than 140 tall papyrus pillars covering 5,500sq m (59,200sq feet), built by Seti I and his son Ramses II. Beyond the Hypostyle Hall lies a rather larger and more confusing section of the temple, built during the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC). In the courtyards beyond the Third and Fourth Pylons are the finely carved obelisks of Tuthmosis II and, farther on, of the female pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut (1473-58 BC). The tip of her fallen obelisk lies on the way to the Sacred Lake.
Past the Sixth Pylon stand two elegant pillars carved with lotus and papyrus flowers, symbolic of Upper and Lower Egypt, and the granite Sanctuary of Amun, built by Philip Arrhidaeus, the half-brother of Alexander the Great. This is where Amun’s effigy was kept and where, as the images on the walls show, daily offerings were made in his honor. Beyond lies a large Central Court and the Jubilee Temple of Tithmosis, where the king’s vitality and authority were symbolically renewed during the jubilee. Interestingly, this huge temple complex was only entered by the powerful priesthood; lay Egyptians were excluded and used intermediary deities, whose shrines they built against the temple’s enclosure wall. One such series of chapels, known as the Chapels of the Hearing Ear, lies at the back of the Jubilee Temple.
Between the Third and the Fourth Pylons, the temple spreads southwards along the side of the Sacred Lake. In 1903, in the Cachette Court in front of the lake, some 17,000 bronze and 800 stone statues were uncovered. The finest of them are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt

The Karnak Sound and Light Show is a spectacular re-enactment of the history of the Temple with views over the floodlit sacred lake 



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Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt
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