Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Luxor Temple

Avenue of lion-headed sphinxes
Saturday 29 December: I just love Luxor Temple. In the centre of town adjacent to the river it's a heaven of serenity away from the hassle and bustle of the local traders.
It was mostly built by 18th dynasty king Amonhotep III around 4,600 years ago and dedicated to the trio of local gods, Amun, Mut and Khons. A short row of sphinxes are all that remain of those that once lined a grand avenue, much of which has now been excavated, leading all the way to Karnak Temple two miles to the north. Decorated with scenes from the Battle of Kadesh the bulky twin pylons are impressive too, as are the twin statues of Ramses II who completed them. A single 80-foot high pink granite needle is now all that remains of the pair of symetrical obelisks raised by Ramses II here, the other now stands in the  Place de la Concorde in Paris (I bet Ramses is not amused).
Beyond the court of Ramses II, 14 papyrus-shaped columns form the colonnade of Amenhotep II which, in turn, leads to his own great court and hypostyle hall with four impressive rows of eight columns each. Great stuff.
Slideshow of Luxor Temple.

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