We arrived in Luxor after an overnight train ride. During the day we visited the Temple of Karnak and that Evening we were able to visit the Temple of Luxor when it was light up. When we arrived to the Temple of Luxor I was very excited since it was what I had been doing my research over for my paper and presentation.

The first thing that I was when we arrived was the pylons or the gateway. It looked like a fortress the walls going up very high with a narrow entry way. This pylon or gateway was built by Ramses II. There was also a huge 82 foot obelisk to one side of the entry way that was also built by Ramses II. It seemed weird that there was not an identical one on the opposite side of the gateway to make the building symmetrical like the rest of the temple appeared to be. We then found out that the other matching obelisk had been sent to France as a gift to the people by a former leader. There were also huge statues of Ramses II on both sides of the temple. It was obvious that he wanted everyone around to know that he had built part of the temple and that he was in power. There was also an avenue of the Sphinx that at one time connected to the temple we had seen earlier that day.

After entering the temple it seemed as if we were surrounded by columns. The columns were all built exactly the same. They each had depictions and writings on them all the way from the bottom to the top of the column. The top of each column had a papyrus plant. The papyrus plant has been very important to the Egyptians. The Papyrus is what the Egyptians used to make paper out of so that they could communicate and is easier to write on than the stones.

What was amazing to me is that in some areas of the temple you could still see the colors that the ancient Egyptians had put on the walls of the temple. I was amazed that the paint that they had used could last through the weather for over 5,000 years.

At this site there had been many different religions that have been located here. It started with the Ancient Egyptians building it to worship their many gods. Later the Christians came in and took over part of the temple covering up the Egyptian writings on some of the wall with plaster and painting their own depictions of the stories in the Bible. After the Christians the temple was left for a while and filled up with sand and silt. A village was then built on top of the temple with a Islamic Mosque being built over the temple. After time the temple was rediscovered and the village was moved however they kept the mosque in place and it now sits on a corner of the mosque high above the temple floor. The mosque is still used by many Muslims in the area every week.

This location has served of a place of worship for many different religious groups starting with ancient Egypt, moving to Christianity and finally to Islam.

Posted at 7:36 PM by Sara Manning