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The Temple of Karnak

The Temple of Karnak

Egypt Holidays - Ram-headed Sphinxes, Karnak

The vast temple complex of Karnak on Luxor's east bank is quite simply overwhelming, covering more than 100 acres in area; it has been calculated that the structure is large enough to accommodate 10 European cathedrals.  The construction of this incredible temple took more than 1,500 years, making it one of the greatest architectural achievements ever executed.  At its heart lies the enormous Temple of Amun, which you enter along a Processional Way flanked by ram-headed Sphinxes.  This is part of a longer promenade that linked Karnak to the Temple of Luxor 2 miles away (there is currently some controversial work being undertaken to restore this link involving clearance of local housing on the ancient route).  Passing through the gigantic First Pylon with its 43-metre-high towers, you proceed via several courts into the colossal Hypostyle Hall of 134 columns (below left) for which Karnak has become justly renowned. Continue to the wide open area of the Sacred Lake.  There is so much to see at Karnak, including the impressive Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut (below right) and the Jubilee Temple of Tuthmosis III.

In the evening you may wish to return to the temple for the spectacular Sound and Light Performance.

Egypt Holidays - The Hypostyle Hall at KarnakEgypt Holidays - The Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut at Karnak