Luxor Governorate extends for 110 km along the Nile River and is 635 km away from Cairo. Geographically, Luxor is bordering the Qena governorate in the north and the Aswan governorate in the south. Also, it neighbours Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar (Red Sea) governorate in the east and the New Valley governorate in the west.
History of the governorate
The significance of the city started as early as the 11th Dynasty when Luxor became the capital of Egypt. Besides, it became the glorious city of god Amun. Starting from Amenhotep II, the unifier of Egypt, this city played a major political and religious role in the country. Notably, the glory of Luxor lasted long during the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom.
Later, Muhammad Ali, who started ruling Egypt in 1805, divided the country into directorates. By then, Girga was one of these directorates in Upper Egypt. Administratively, this directorate had several cities including Mishta and Qena, in the north; and also, Esna, in the south. At that time, Luxor was just a city in this directorate.
With the new demonstrative division to governorates in 1960, Girga lost a big portion of its southern area. The reason behind it was that another governorate (Qena) split from it. Once again, Luxor was just a city in this governorate.
In 2009, Luxor split from the Qena governorate to form a new governorate with the same name.
Administrative divisions of Luxor Governorate
- Luxor (The capital).
- Also, Tiba.
Besides these central cities, Luxor has more divisions to rural areas and villages.
Attractions in Luxor Governorate
Monuments in the western bank of River Nile
Temple of Hatshepsut
The Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut, in Deir El Bahari, is one of the most prominent temples we have in Egypt. It is located on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, Luxor governorate. It is a semi-rock-carved temple. This aspect was unusual for that time. Indeed. The temple of Queen Hatshepsut became a real engineering marvel of the ancient builders. Presently, we consider it as one of the most famous structures of ancient Egyptian architecture.
Hatshepsut temple, at El Deir El Bahary, is this impressive temple dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut the only female pharaoh. Impressively, it rises out in the desert with a series of terraces. It merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it. It is the most beautiful & best-preserved of all of the temples of Ancient Egypt.
Temple of Thutmose III
Deir el-Bahari is the home of the temple of Thutmose III. Located right in the centre of the Deir el-Bahari valley, the temple sits on a rocky platform. Hence, it dominates over the other structures. The Temple of Hatshepsut and the temple of Mentuhotep Nebhepetre surround the structure itself.
These particular temples date back to the Eleventh dynasty. These temples, along with the temple of Thutmose III, form a splendid relic of ancient Egypt.
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings is the place where the magnificent tombs exist. Professionally, the Ancient Egyptians carved those tombs deeply into the mountain rock. Also, they richly decorated them and filled them with treasures for the afterlife. The Valley of the Kings homes tombs of ancient Egyptian kings e.g. toms of the great pharaoh Ramses II and Tutankhamen.
Temple of Amenhotep III
The Temple of Amenhotep III is one of the amazing temples located on the west bank of the River Nile, in the Theban Necropolis, Luxor governorate. Amenhotep III, pharaoh of the Dynasty XVIII, built this temple during his rule about 1400 B.C. Also, Colossi of Memnon: Two massive mono stone statues King Amenhotep III are the major remains of a huge mortuary temple.
Monuments in the eastern bank of River Nile
Temples of Karnak
Karnak Temple: It is the largest temple complex in the ancient world. Amazingly, it represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders and pharaohs. Its ancient name is Ipet-isut which means “the most sacred of places.” Continuously, the building of this complex temple lasted over more than two thousand years. It compromises three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples on 247 acres of land. Within the great “Hypostyle Hall” is an incredible forest of giant pillars.
The key difference between Karnak and most of the other temples and sites in Egypt is the time taken to build and develop. It took a long time to arrive at its final shape. Here, we are not talking about a single temple; but, a complex of temples. As an ancient Egyptian temple, the construction started in the Middle Kingdom and continued to Ptolemaic times. Almost all the rulers of Ancient Egypt left their mark in this vast and huge complex. Approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings. This process of construction and renovation have led to size, complexity, and diversity not seen elsewhere. It is the largest religious building ever made, covering about 200 acres! Additionally, it was a place of pilgrimage for nearly 2,000 years.
Luxor Temple is an Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city Thebes, Luxor governorate. Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC) initiated the construction of this temple but completed by Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC). Finally, it was added to the temples built during Ramses II (1279-13 BC). At the same time, we can see a granite shrine, toward the rear, dedicated to Alexander the Great (332-305 BCs).
The Temple of Luxor was the centre of the most important festival – the festival of Opet. This festival was to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with the divine office. Amenhotep III and Ramses II dedicated the majestic Luxor Temple to the god Amun.