The Temple of Karnak is the largest Temple in the World! The complex contains a group of Temples such as the Great Temple of Amon Ra, The Temple of Khonso, The Ipt Temple, The Temple of Ptah, the Temple of Montho and the Temple of the God Osiris. A 20m high, mud brick enclosure wall, surrounded all of these buildings.

This great Temple of Amon Ra was known during the Middle Kingdom period as Ipt-Swt, which means the Selected Spot. It was also called Pr-Imn, which means the House of Amon. The name Al-Karnak in Arabic was derived from Karnak, which means fortified village, probably because the Arabs found many Temples and buildings in the area when they entered it for first time.
On your way towards the entrance you will find a ram-headed avenue of Sphinxes, which was built to protect the Temple. There are 20 rams on each side, extending from the small harbour to the 1st Pylon, which was built during the time of King Nektanebo I (30th Dynasty). As you cross this pylon, it takes you into an Open court, whose dimensions are100m long by 80m wide, built during the 22nd Dynasty, and containing rows of bud papyrus columns.

In the middle of the 1st Open court, there is a huge column, which is 21m high and has a bud papyrus capital. This part is known as the kiosk of Taharqa who ruled during the 25th Dynasty. This is the only column left from a colonnade that once had 10 columns.
On the left side of this Court there are 3 chapels, which were built by King Seti II for the "Triad of Thebes". On the right side is the Temple of Ramses III. This Temple consists of a small pylon, an open court and Hypostyle hall, leading to the sanctuary.

Horemheb built the 2nd Pylon during the 18th Dynasty, though it is now badly damaged. Ramses I, the founder of the 19th Dynasty, later completed it. Passing the 2nd Pylon, we enter the Great Hypostyle Hall, which measures 103m in length and 52m in width. It contains 134 papyrus columns; each column is about 22m in height and 3.5m in diameter. Amenhotep III built it and Ramses I, Seti I, and Ramses II decorated it, while King Seti I erected the other 122 columns in 14 rows.
The ceiling in the centre is higher than the laterals, and it allows light into this spot, which was the processional avenue of the Triad during the festival of the Opet. The scenes of the Hypostyle Hall represent King Seti I, in front of different deities, making offerings, while the southern wall is decorated with scenes of Ramses II, making offerings to the different deities or worshipping the Triad of Thebes.

The Hypostyle Hall leads to The 3rd Pylon, which was built by Amenhotep III. It is remarkable that stones from previous periods were found incrusted in that Pylon, for example, the marble alabaster of Amenhotep I!

Crossing the 3rd Pylon, you come to an open, rectangular court, which is known as the Court of Tuthmosis I. In this court, Tuthmosis I erected 2 obelisks, as most probably this area was the main entrance of the Temple during his reign. Unfortunately, only one obelisk has survived: 19m high and around 310 tons in weight.

From the Court of Tuthmosis, we reach the 4th Pylon, which Tuthmosis I also built; beyond this is a rectangular colonnade, which he built as well. When Hatshepsut ascended to the throne she built 2 obelisks in that colonnade, the left one is still in its original position: 29.5m in height, 322 tons in weight and made of red granite!
After the death of Queen Hatshepsut, King Tuthmoses III built a high, long wall around these 2 obelisks to hide them.

The 5th Pylon, yet again built by Tuthmosis I, is damaged and on both sides of the entrance,Tuthmosis III built two small rooms.

We are now at the 6th Pylon, which was built by Tuthmosis III. Beyond this pylon Tuthmosis III built his famous hall, which is known as the Ancestral Room. The original Sanctuary was built by Tuthmosis III, but Philip Arrhidaeus, the half brother of Alexander the Great, later rebuilt it.

The sanctuary was built of granite, and it was dedicated to the sacred boat of Amon Ra. Behind the sanctuary you will see a court, dating back to the time of the Middle Kingdom. It is a wide-open courtyard that is badly damaged now. Most probably this spot was the site of an old Temple, dating back to the time of the Middle Kingdom: the origin of the Karnak Temple.

At the end of the Middle Kingdom Courtyard, there is another Hall known as the Akh-Mnw, or the Festival Hall of Tuthmosis III. The hall in the north of the area is called The Botanical Room. This is because the walls were decorated with scenes of plants, animals and birds, which were brought from Syria, to Egypt, by the King.

Now we shall go back through the temple until we reach the Court of Tuthmosis 1 again (between the 4th and 3rd Pylons).

Turning left, we enter a courtyard, which is in front of the 7th Pylon. In 1902, the French Egyptologist Georges Legrain (1865–1917) discovered a very precious collection of statues hidden in the ground of this court, which is now known as the Court of the Cashet. The 7th Pylon, which is badly damaged, was built by Tuthmosis III.

Crossing the 7th Pylon to the court beyond, you will see 2 statues of Ramses II and Tuthmosis III.

The 8th Pylon was built by Hatshepsut, decorated by Tuthmosis III, and restored by Seti I. The scenes on the façade of the Pylon represent Hatshepsut with different deities, and a religious scene featuring Tuthmosis III.

On the left side of the Court, between the 9th and 10th Pylons, are the remains of the Heb-Sed Shrine, which was built by Amenhotep II and decorated by Seti I.

The 9th Pylon, which was built by Horemheb, is badly damaged. A large number of bricks were found inside, which were being used as filling. They belonged to the Aton Temple, which was built by Amenhotep VI (Akhenaten) in the 18th Dynasty and destroyed by later Kings who wanted to eliminate all traces of the "heretic" King.

Finally we reach the 10th Pylon, damaged as well, and again built by King Horemheb. In front of this Pylon there are the remains of an avenue of Sphinxes, built by Horemheb, and extending to the gate of Ptolemy II in front of Mut Temple.

Before leaving the Temple of Amon Ra at Karnak you should visit the Sacred Lake, which goes back to the time of Tuthmosis III. It measures 80m in length and 40m in width. Near the Sacred Lake there is a scarab, which is considered the biggest scarab left from Ancient Egypt, dating from the reign of Amenhotep III. The Ancient Egyptians called the scarab, Khebry, and it was the symbol of the Sun God. The word itself means to create; it was thought to bring to the sun in the early morning.

While you are in Luxor, why don't you attend the marvelous Sound and Light show at the Temple of Karnak?

Listed below you will find the Sound and Light show schedule.
First show
 Second show
 third show
Fourth show 
Day / time
8:00 PM
75 EGP
75 EGP
 75 EGP
75 EGP
Please Note: An additional camera ticket of 35 EGP is required if you use your video camera at the show

The Temples of Abu Simbel are amongst the most interesting Pharaonic Temples. Located close to the southern border with the Sudan, it is 280 km south of Aswan and consists of two, rock-cut Temples, which both date back to the reign of King Ramses II (1290-1223 BC). Unfortunately these unique Temples suffered from the raising water of Lake Nasser while the High Dam was being built. Other countries, with the help of UNESCO, assisted Egypt to help save them.

The two Temples were cut in to many pieces, and then they were reconstructed again on a site 65m higher than the original location, and 200m back inland, to escape the rising water level. This great rescue operation began in June 1964 and finished in September 1968.

The first Temple was built by King Ramses II and is dedicated to the God Re-Hor-Akhty, Amon, Ptah, and King Ramses II as a deified King. Its façade is 35m long and 30m high. The façade has four seated colossi of the King; each one is 20m tall and represents the King seated on his throne wearing the double crown, accompanied by 3 small figures of his wives, daughters and sons flanking his legs.

Above the entrance stands the figure of Re-Hor-Akhty, while near to the summit of the façade there are number of baboons.

Inside the Temple there is a hall, supported by Osirid shaped pillars which were cut into the rock, with walls that are decorated by battle and offering scenes. There are some side rooms leading from the hall, which are also decorated with various scenes. At the far end of the Temple is the sanctuary, which contains four statues; Re-Hor-Akhty, Amon-Re, Ptah and the deified Ramses II.

The smaller Temple of Nefertari:

The Temple of Queen Nefertari is located 120m from the Temple of Ramses II and was also built by Ramses II, dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and to his wife Queen Nefertari. Queen Nefertari was the principal, and the most beloved, wife of King Ramses II. It is also a rock-cut Temple with a façade of about 28m long and 12m high, which contains 6 standing colossi, each one being about 11m in height. Four of them represent Ramses II and the other two represent Queen Nefertari, each is accompanied by two smaller figures of their children.

The entrance leads to a square hall, which is supported by 6 Hathor-headed pillars decorated with scenes depicting the King and the Queen making offerings to different deities.

At the end of the hall there is a doorway leading to a transverse vestibule decorated with scenes of King Ramses II making offering to Re-HorAkhty, while the Queen is presenting flowers to Khenum, Sat-tet and Anket.

The Transverse Hall leads to the Sanctuary, which contains a niche in the rear wall with a statue of Goddess Hathor, as a cow, protecting Ramses II.
This classic tour gives you the opportunity to visit Cairo’s best and most well known sites, including the Pyramids, Sphinx and Egyptian museum in Cairo before transferring to Aswan for a 5-star cruise down the Nile to Luxor. You visit all the important sites en-route, and the tour has optional trip to Alexandria. Rate starts from USD 645 per person in twin /double room

This whistle stop tour of Cairo includes visits to the Great Pyramids of Gisa and Sphinx, Zoser’s step pyramid at Saqqara, along with a city tour of Cairo which visits the Citadel, Egyptian museum and Khan Al Khalili bazaar. All this coupled with options for sound and Light show and evening entertainment, makes the perfect short break.
This tour has been specially designed for families who want to combine visits to some of Egypt's most famous and important ancient sites with some more adventurous activities for the children.With a camel ride, felucca sailboat, fabulous sightseeing, and snorkelling in the Red Sea, this is a tour the whole family will remember
Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan Muslims fast during the day and feast at night, thus normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some restaurants are closed during the day but most tourist attractions and hotels are not affected. Some disruption may also appear during the two-day Grand Feast.

7 Jan* Coptic Christmas Day
9 Mar Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday (Moulid El Nabi)
25 Apr Sinai Liberation Day (Sinai only)
27 Apr* Coptic Easter (Sham el-Nassim)
1 May Labour Day
23 Jul National Day, also known as Revolution Day
11 Sep* Coptic New Year
20-23 Sep End of Ramadan (Eid El Fitr )
6 Oct Armed Forces Day
27-28 Nov Grand Feast, Feast of Sacrifice (Eid El Adha)
18 Dec Islamic New Year (El Hijra)

7 Jan* Coptic Christmas Day
26 Feb Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday (Moulid El Nabi)
25 Apr Sinai Liberation Day (Sinai only)
28 Apr* Coptic Easter (Sham el-Nassim)
1 May Labour Day
23 Jul National Day also known as Revolution Day
11 Sep* Coptic New Year
6 Oct Armed Forces Day
10-13 Sep End of Ramadan (Eid El Fitr)
16-17 Nov Grand Feast, Feast of Sacrifice (Eid El Adha)
7 Dec Islamic New Year (El Hijra)

* These holidays are not official, although Coptic Christians may observe them.

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