The Temple Luxor


The temple of Luxor is located on the East bank of the Nile. It used to be the center of Egyptian culture and it was located in Egypt’s ancient capital—Thebes. Though the temple has managed to survive weathering and vandalism, it has revealed memories of many pharaohs that tried to leave a lasting mark.

Of the many pharaohs that left a lasting mark there were a few prominent pharaohs that did most of the alterations. Those pharaohs were Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Ramses II. All tried to surpass one another in the hope that the world would remember them. Most of their activities were recorded through statues, inscriptions, carvings or hieroglyphics.

The temple itself was actually designed and dedicated for three Gods named Amun-re, Mut, and Khonsu. These three gods are also known as the Theban triad.

Most of the temples monuments and statues are now Ramses II. Because he was one of the last pharaohs to alter the temple, most of what is left represents him and his reign. For example, as tourists enter the temple a large pylon is present. It was constructed for Ramses II. Another example would be the two statues that depict him sitting at the entrance. There Ramses II can be seen wearing a crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

The courtyard also showcases the pharaoh as well. He is seen standing between closed papyrus-bud columns.

The first pharaoh to make any changes to the temple was Amenophis III, or better known as Amenhotep III. During his reign he started construction on the court and colonnade but never finished the work. He died and his son Akhenaten made more changes.

Akhenaten altered the temple during the New Kingdom (18th Dynasty) due to radical religious beliefs. During this period, Akhenaten overthrew the teachings of Amun-re and neglected the temple. As a result, the temple become damaged and was not maintained very well. It was not restored until his son Tutankhamun came into power.

After the death of Tutankhamun, it is believed that Horemheb destroyed anything that associated Tutankhamun to his father. This meant making more alterations to the temple.

Though the pharaohs had a heavy hand in changing the temples, modern people have also contributed to this change. At one time the entrance of the temple had two obelisks. One was removed and sent to Concorde in Paris. There it stands and has remained there since 1836.