1. Sacred Destinations
  2. Egypt
  3. Luxor

Luxor, Egypt

View over Luxor Temple and the Nile River from above. Photo Creative Commons License Robert Fraser.

Luxor (Arabic: الأقصر) is a city in southern Egypt. It has been called the "world's greatest open-air museum" and for good reason. Luxor is home to the ruins of Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple, as well as the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens and other monuments on the West Bank of the Nile. Modern Luxor stands on the site of the ancient city of Thebes, which drew visitors from all over the world even in ancient times. Today, Luxor has a population of about 150,000 and is a popular holiday destination. In addition to its own spectacular sights, Luxor makes an excellent base for touring Upper Egypt and as a starting or finishing point for Nile cruises.


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Sacred Sites and Religious Attractions in Luxor

  • Colossi of Memnon
    The first main sight across the Nile from Luxor are these two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For 3,400 years, they have guarded his mortuary temple.
  • Karnak Temple
    Dedicated primarily to Pharaoh Amun, this vast temple complex in Luxor was begun around 1600 BC. It is an impressive sight and second only to the Great Pyramids of Giza in popularity.
  • Luxor Temple
    Near Karnak and also dedicated to Amun is the huge Luxor Temple, dating from the 1300s BC. It is full of monumental statues, tall walls and ancient carvings, and is beautifully lit at night.
  • Medinet Habu
    Erected around 1180 BC, this is the Mortuary Temple of Ramses III, a huge complex second only to Karnak in size and better preserved. It has a huge pylon and many reliefs, plus an older temple by Hatshepsut.
  • Ramesseum
    This is the mortuary temple of Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled for 67 years during the 13th century BC, the apogee of Ancient Egypt's power and glory.
  • Temple of Hatshepsut
    This three-tiered mortuary temple is dedicated to Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh who reigned 1503-1482 BC. Built against a cliff face, the great complex contains ancient statues and carvings.
  • Valley of the Kings
    This famed valley on the West Bank of the Nile was the burial place for pharaohs and nobles from 1539 BC to 1075 BC. It contains some 60 tombs, including the famous King Tut's Tomb.