Temples of Karnak
- Luxor Sharia Karnak
- concession £E30.00, full £E60.00
- 06:00-17:30, open till 21:00, May-Sep
Lonely Planet review for Temples of Karnak
A fitting monument to Egypt's New Kingdom power, Karnak is a mind-blowing complex of obelisks, columns, sanctuaries and pylons dedicated to the Theban gods and the glory of Egypt's pharaohs. Built and added to for over 1500 years its million-plus square metres a offer a crash course in ancient Egyptian architecture.
Although the earliest structures at Karnak date back to the Middle Kingdom, when Thebes was eclipsed by Memphis in the north, Karnak was ancient Egypt's most important place of worship in throughout the new kingdom. Called 'the most perfect of places', at its height during the reign of Ramses II some 80,000 people worked in or for the complex. At its centre was the enormous Amun Temple Enclosure, which covers more than 260,000 square metres and was dedicated to the god Amun. Most famous of all the many monuments here is the hypostyle hall, a forest of 134 papyrus-shaped columns that has stunned visitors for centuries. The temple is easily accessible from Luxor's town centre and can be seen at night if you can brave the faux-Shakespearean kitsch of the sound and light show.