The Temple is located on the east bank of the Nile in the city of Luxor, the ancient pharaonic capital known as Thebes, in the south of the country.
More than thirty pharaohs contributed to the construction of this sacred enclosure, which began in the 18th dynasty, although the site was already occupied by a minor temple for a long time before.
The construction of the Karnak complex is quite complicated, since more than 30 pharaohs participated in its construction. It covers more than 100 hectares, an area larger than some ancient cities.
Construction at Karnak began 4,000 years ago and continued until the time the Romans took control of Egypt some 2,000 years ago. Each Egyptian ruler who worked at Karnak left his own architectural mark. His model shows an astonishing array of temples, chapels, gateway-shaped "towers," among many other buildings, which were gradually built, demolished, and modified over more than 2,000 years.
The researchers note that there are 134 columns in total, the twelve largest being 70 feet (21 meters) tall and supporting the central part of the structure. The other 122 columns are about 40 feet (12 meters) high.
Karnak Temple has three sacred areas that honor three gods: Amun, Mut and Jonsu, which are the divinities that make up the Theban triad. As Thebes became the capital of the empire, it was natural that its places of worship gained great importance, which led to the construction of the imposing temples that thousands of years later can still be seen by visitors.
The temple was renovated and expanded with each new ruler, resulting in the enormous religious complex that can be visited today and that surprises travelers for its enormous dimensions, both for its extension and for the height of its pylons and columns.
1- The enclosure of Amun-Ra. It is the largest in the temple and as its name indicates, it is dedicated to the god who heads the triad of Thebes.
2- The Montu enclosure. Located to the north of the one dedicated to Amun-Ra, it is much smaller than that of his "father". Montu (Jonsu) is the divine figure that completes the Theban triad, and symbolizes a warrior god.
3- The enclosure of Mut. A little older than that of Amun-Ra and located to the south of the previous one, it is dedicated to the second divine figure of the Theban triad: the goddess Mut, wife of Amun-Ra and mother of Montu (Jonsu), and who at Over time it was incorporating other female divinities, in a religious process that lasted for centuries.
4- The temple of Opet. Dedicated to the religious festival celebrated in the second month of the annual flooding of the Nile, and which included both the Luxor and Karnak temples.
5- The Karnak Temple is the second most visited archaeological site in Egypt, and over time it has sparked the imagination of its visitors and inspired curiosity about its builders and their enormous architectural skills.
6- For centuries, this place was the most influential Egyptian religious center. The main temple was dedicated to the cult of the god Amun, but as in other Egyptian temples other divinities were also venerated.
The temple of Karnak, in Thebes, dedicated to Amun, was the main place of worship in Egypt since the New Kingdom. The photograph corresponds to the great hypostyle room.
Successive pharaohs competed to erect buildings and obelisks at Karnak to honor Amun, the chief god of the Egyptian pantheon. In the image, general panorama of the enclosure.
In the 11th century BC, power was divided between the pharaohs in the north and the priests of Amun in Thebes in the south. One of them, Pinedjem I, had this colossus erected in Karnak.
During the great festivals, the boat with the image of Amun was carried in procession by the priests. In the image, the boat in a relief from the Red Chapel of Queen Hatshepsut.
The processional routes that unite the sacred precincts in Karnak are flanked by ram-headed sphinxes that fulfilled the function of guardians and protectors.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Karnak awed researchers despite its ruined state, as this lithograph made during Richard Lepsius's expedition shows.
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