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Karnak Temple

Ancient Majesty: Discovering Karnak Temple in Egypt

The Karnak Temple Complex is one of Luxor’s most famous monuments of the New Kingdom. This magnificent temple was dedicated to Amun, the supreme god of heaven and fertility. The massive Karnak Temple is considered the largest divine temple in ancient Egypt.

The largest religious complex in antiquity is in Luxor, southern Egypt. Karnak generally consists of many skillfully arranged places of worship and towers. From the Eleventh Dynasty to Greco-Roman domination, each pharaoh left his mark by building a chapel, tower, or hypostyle halls.

It extends over 100 hectares, and its construction requires more than two thousand years of hard work. Visiting the Karnak temples is like traveling through more than 2,000 years of history. A marvel of ancient Egypt, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Karnak Temple is a vast complex of ancient Egyptian sacred structures that were erected during the era of the Pharaohs. The impressive architectural ensemble is located on the banks of the Nile within the city of Luxor.

Karnak Temple is one of the most important tourist attractions in Egypt. The imagination of travelers is struck by massive gates, columns covered with hieroglyphs, obelisks, and giant statues, and a long alley with hundreds of stone sphinxes.

Tourists from all over the world seek to admire the pearl of ancient architecture. Karnak Temple is Egypt’s second most popular tourist destination after the Giza Pyramids.

In ancient Egyptian and Greek history, the Karnak Temple was one of Egypt’s most important and famous temples. It was built for several different religious and historical reasons.

The main reason for building the temple is that the renowned god “Amun,” his wife “Mut,” and their son “Khones” can be worshiped.

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The Secret of the Name of the Karnak Temple

Why they called the temple Karnak Temple is a big secret. Some say that Karnak comes from an old Arabic name, “al-Kharnaq,” which means “the village that is guarded.” Then, they considered Karnak a holy place where Amun’s sacrifices occurred.

A private trip to Karnak is like returning to the Old Kingdom in Egypt. Ancient Egyptians went to this vast temple complex to worship, while Thebes, now called Luxor, was the center of government, and its size shows how important it was at the time.

In addition to being a place of worship in the New Kingdom, the site was also the center of government and the seat of the pharaohs. Over 1,500 years, temples, shrines, and architectural features only found in Egypt were built at Karnak, making it one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

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The importance of the Temple of Karnak

During the New Kingdom, when most of the power was in Thebes (Luxor), the Karnak temple complex was the center of the ancient religion. Its large size showed how important it was.

In addition to being a place of worship, it was used by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom as a palace, administrative center, and home to store money. However, it is believed to be the largest temple complex ever built.

Although they were most important during the New Kingdom and the reigns of famous pharaohs such as Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Seti I, and Ramesses II, they all made significant additions to the complex. The Ptolemies, Romans, and early Christians also left their mark there during the Greco-Roman era.

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The monumental structure of the Temple of Karnak

The structure was even more critical during the New Kingdom when Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Seti I, and Ramesses II were pharaohs. Each of these pharaohs helped build the complex in their way. During the Greco-Roman period, the Ptolemies, Romans, and early Christians added growth to the structures, and each of these cultures left a significant imprint.

Karnak consists of three parts: the precinct of Amun, Mut, and Montu. It is smaller than any other significant site in Egypt due to the way it was constructed. The most famous parts of the Karnak complex are located in the precinct of Amun, including the Great Hall of Columns, one of the unique places in Egypt.

Breaking down the different parts that make up the complex is complicated, so we’ll let the tour guide take care of it. Instead, we suggest you take some time to look around this vast complex, admire its beauty, and imagine what it might have looked like 2,000 years ago.

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The importance of the Karnak Temple complex

Karnak Temple

Watch the sound and light show.

In addition to going to the museum in the morning, you can go in the evening to see the Light and Sound Show, which is fun and different. Because the Karnak complex is so important, this beautiful show in the Karnak Temple is considered one of Egypt’s most famous.

The show is a walk through the temple while Egyptian history is told. At the same time, as you walk through the passage, lights turn on in other parts of the monument, giving you a special and unique experience. With the free headphones that were given out before the show, you can listen to it in any language.

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Interesting Facts Karnak Temple

  • The sacred lake is located south of the Temple of Amun. The water is salty, and at the edge of the lake, there is a large granite scarab dedicated to the sun god Atum-Khepri, depicted as a scarab.
  • The preferred time for photographers to visit the Karnak Temple complex is five in the evening, and this is the best time to see the stonework shining in the sun and the majestic shadows of the carvings hanging on the walls.
  • Behind the second tower is the Hypostyle Hall, rightfully considered one of the world’s wonders. It measures 103 by 52 meters, covering an area of more than 5,000 square meters.
  • Perhaps the first place in the world where surgical instruments were invented was the Kom Ombo temple in Karnak – during excavations, researchers found forceps, scalpels, childbirth chairs, and containers with medicines.
  • More than 420,000 animals are kept on the temple grounds at Karnak, considered sacred to Amun. At the same time, people of humble origin were not allowed to enter the temple.
  • Although the temple at Karnak was plundered by armies, explorers, and travelers who stole statues and stonework, there are not many temple complexes left in the world that are still majestic today. The realms of the pharaohs may vanish, but their power lives on in this seeming era of stone.
About the author

Egypt Planners Team is a highly experienced travel agency specializing in memorable trips to Egypt. The team comprises expert travel planners and tour guides with a deep knowledge of Egypt's history, culture, and top tourist destinations.