Luxor Governorate extends for 110 km along the Nile River and is 635 km away from Cairo. Luxor is geographically bordering Qena in the north and Aswan in the south. Also, it neighbours Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar (Red Sea Governorate) in the east and the New Valley governorate in the west.
Location of Luxor Governorate
History of the governorate
The city’s significance 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 prominent 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. At that time, Girga was one of these directorates in Upper Egypt. The Girga directorate had several cities, including Mishta and Qena, in the north; and Esna in the south. Accordingly, Luxor represented just a city in this directorate.
According to the new demonstrative division in 1960, Girga lost a significant portion of its southern territory. 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 in rural areas and villages than these main cities.
Luxor, Medamud Village
Armant (known in Koine Greek as Hermonthis) was an important Middle Kingdom town enlarged during the Eighteenth Dynasty. It is located today about 19 km (12 mi) south of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile.
The Upper Egyptian town of Esna is located around 55 km south of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile. Known as Senat in ancient Egypt and later as Latopolis by the Greeks, Esna, also known as “the city of fish”, as the perch was once worshipped there as divine, is home to important Ancient Egyptian, Graeco-Roman, Coptic, Islamic, and modern layers of history.
Luxor Tourist Activities
Luxor is famous for its historical monuments. It attacks them from all over the country. Many tourists visit it annually to enjoy sightseeing. For history and culture, trips head from Luxor to the various tourist destinations. Also, these trips arrive from Hurghada and Safaga and Marsa Alam to the place. Moreover, Cairo gets flights trips and tours of Sharm El-Sheik and Cairo.
Attractions in Luxor Governorate
Monuments on the western bank of the 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 stands 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 an absolute engineering marvel of the ancient builders. Presently, we consider it one of the most famous structures of ancient Egyptian architecture.
El Deir El Bahary hosts the impressive Hatshepsut temple, 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 and 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 temples of Hatshepsut and Mentuhotep Nebhepetre surround the design itself.
These particular temples date back to the Eleventh Dynasty. Indeed, those 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., the tombs of great pharaohs Ramses II and Tutankhamen.
Temple of Amenhotep III
The Temple of Amenhotep III is one of the fantastic temples on the west bank of the Nile River in the Theban Necropolis, Luxor governorate. Amenhotep III, pharaoh of the Dynasty XVIII, built this temple about 1400 BC. Also, Colossi of Memnon: Two massive mono stone statues of king Amenhotep III are the significant remains of a vast mortuary temple.
Monuments on the eastern bank of the 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 old name is Ipet-isut which means “the most sacred of places.” Continuously, the building of this complex temple lasted more than two thousand years. It comprises three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples on 247 acres. The great “Hypostyle Hall” is an incredible forest of giant pillars.
The time taken to build and develop Karnak is the crucial difference between it and most of Egypt’s other temples and sites. 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, its 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 colossal complex. In total, approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings. This construction and renovation process has 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. It marks the ancient Egyptian city Thebes with its high columns and adds fame to the current governorate of Luxor. Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC) initiated the construction of this temple, but Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) completed it. Finally, Ramses II (1279-13 BC) added his widely spread temple. At the same time, we can see a granite shrine toward the rear dedicated to Alexander the Great (332-305 BCs).
Amenhotep III and Ramses II dedicated the majestic Luxor Temple to the god Amun. 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.