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The Temple of Amun at Luxor


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The Temple of Amun, located on the East Bank, was built by two Pharaohs: Amenhotep III (1390 - 1352 BCE) and Ramesses II (1279 - 1213 BCE). The temple was dedicated to Amun, whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually when the sacred procession moved by boat from Karnak to Luxor Temple. The primary function of the original temple was as a setting for the Festival of Opet, in which the cult statue of the god Amun was carried annually along an avenue of sphinxes leading from the temple of Amun at Karnak to Luxor.

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Entrance to the Temple of AmunThe entrance is a huge pylon built by Ramesses II and has two seated statues of the pharaoh. Originally, two large obelisks, also added by Ramesses II, stood in front of the pylon. However, only one remains. The other, given to France in 1819, now stands in Place de la Concorde in Paris.

The temple of Amun at LuxorA side view of the temple of Amun showing most of the ruins. The Mosque of Abu'l Haggag which partially overbuilt the temple can be seen as well as the Court of Ramesses II and the colonnade of Amenhotep II.

Court of Amenhotep IIBeyond the entrance pylon of temple is the Court of Ramesses II. The colonnade of closed papyrus-bud columns, which originally lined the court on all four sides, today is interrupted in the northeast corner by the presence of the Mosque of Abu'l Haggag. Standing statues of Ramesses II punctuate most of the spaces between the columns. The crowns of several of these figures sit on the ground beside them because they were carved separately and have fallen off.

Colonnade of Amenhotep IIThe colonnade within the court of Amenhotep II consists of 14 columns with papyrus capitals. In the entrance to the colonnade are two statues bearing the name of Ramesses II but the features of Tutankhamen.

Sphinx at LuxorOne of the remaining sphinxes at Luxor.  These sphinxes combine the body of a lion with the head of Nectanebo I (380-363 BCE).  They were rebuilt in the fourth century BCE to replace the ruined New Kingdom sphinxes.

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All pictures are Copyright 1998 - 2000 Grisel Gonzalez

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