Luxor
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Luxor

 

Luxor once an Ancient Egyptian capital, is known today as the world's "greatest open-air museum." From the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings and the magnificent sunset views at the majestic temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor to the exciting and fun Nile cruises, Luxor is the perfect choice for culture vultures. Luxor is divided by the Nile into two areas commonly called the East Bank and West Bank which

were considered in Ancient Egyptian times as symbolizing respectively Life and Death. While the East Bank has grown to become a modern city, it has retained its lush green setting, its traditional bazaar and stunning view of the Nile. The East Bank boasts some of Egypt's most refined hotels, home to amazing Spa's and a golf course. The West Bank is known for its necropolis and mortuary temples: the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Workers Village, and the Temple of Medinet  Habu are the highlights of Luxor’s West Bank. In Ancient Egyptian mythology the setting sun to the west symbolized the journey to the afterlife, so it was fitting symbolism to bury the dead west of the Nile While in Luxor, the sun shines for 11 hours during summer and 8 during winter. Winter temperature averages around 26°C, in summer temperature reaches 39°C.

Luxor Highlights

- The East Bank of Luxor refers to the central part of Luxor township, centred on the twin foci of the Temple of Luxor and the Temple of Karnak. Unlike the West Bank, which was always the main area for cemeteries and mortuary temples, the East Bank represented the main settlement of the living throughout the millennia - a role that has hardly changed. The vast majority of hotels and tourist facilities are to be found in the East Bank.

- The west Bank at Luxor is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. one only sees tombs, but the tombs were an integral part of larger mortuary complexes. Indeed, the whole west bank is honeycombed with tombs, not just of the ancient Egyptian Kings, but of their families and the noblemen who served them. The west bank necropolis can be divided into a number of zones and sub-zones, of which the Valley of the Kings is only one zone. The northern sector of the west bank closest to the Nile River is often referred to as the Tombs of the Nobles, but it can be divided into about five different sub-zones. Farthermost north is an area known as el-Tarif, where large, row tombs were dug during the late Second Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom. Just south of el-Tarif is Dra Abu el-Naga, which is a hillside with about 80 numbered tombs most belonging to priests and officials of the 17th through 20th dynasty, including some rulers of the 17th dynasty. Just southwest of Dra Abu el-Naga is an area called El-Assasif, where there are 40 tombs, mostly from the New Kingdom and later. Just south of El-Assasif is El-Khokha, a hill with five Old Kingdom tombs and 53 numbered tombs from the 18th and 19th dynasty. Directly west of El-Khokha is Sheikh Abd el-Qurna. This hill was named for a mythical Muslim sheikh, and has 146 numbered tombs, most of which are from the 18th Dynasty. Here one finds some of the most beautiful private tombs on the West Bank. Just north of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna is Deir el-Bahari, well known for the northernmost temples in the Valley, including that of Hatshepsut and Mentuhotep. Finally, south of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna and near the Temple of Merenptah is Qurnet Murai, a hill with 17 numbered tombs mostly dating to the Ramesside period. Where there are probably thousands of tombs in these areas, Egyptologists have only explored and numbered a total of about 800 of them. Further west is the highest of the peaks in the Theban range of hills. This is Qurn, which can be translated in Arabic to mean "horn", or "forehead". At this mountains northern base, fairly well separate from the other burials in the West Bank, is the Valley of the Kings. Along with a number of unfinished tombs, 62 numbered tombs are known to Egyptologists. This was the final resting place of many of the New Kingdom rulers. South of the Valley of the Kings, and closer to the Nile lies the Valley of the Queens. This area is inappropriately named, because it houses family members of the kings, including both males and females, and even some high officials. There are about 80 numbered tombs in this area, probably the most famous of which is that of Queen Nefertari. Just southeast of the Valley of the Queens is Deir el-Medina, the ruins of a village that housed the craftsmen and workers who dug and decorated the tombs and other Theban monuments. It is a very important area to Egyptology, because it has revealed many of the facets of ordinary life in Egypt, and there are some wonderful tombs in its necropolis. All along the border between the fertile section of the Valley and the hills we find Temples and one palace. The southern most temple is that of Ramesses III located at Medinet Habu. The palace, one of the southernmost monuments in the Valley, is at Malkata, just south of Deir el-Medina, and belonged to Amenhotep III, but was probably also inhabited by a few of his successors. At one time, it was a huge complex. The northernmost temple is that of Seti I, which at one time also probably served as an administrative center on the West Bank.

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Whether you are visiting Egypt for the first time, or like so many travelers before you, you are returning once again, we at Egypt Adventure would like to extend to you our warmest welcome and look forward to introducing you to our Egypt......

 

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