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The East Bank of Luxor

Posted On : 22/02/2023 Kate Clark 50
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The history of the East Bank

The East Bank of Luxor is the central part of the city, between the two mouths of Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple. It is the part of the city where tourists usually arrive whether they come by land, river or air. Just as in antiquity, urban settlements have remained on this bank.

The shore of the living and the shore of the dead

In fact, the ancient Egyptians saw the East Bank as "the land of the living" since this bank faces the point where the sun rises, so they built houses and temples there. Unlike the west bank which has always been the main area of cemeteries and mortuary temples, the east bank has been the main settlement of the living over the millennia, a role which has hardly changed. The vast majority of hotels and tourist facilities are still located on the east bank.

The layout of the city of Luxor is quite simple: arranged around the temples of Karnak and Luxor, 3 km north and south of the city respectively, there are four main roads with a network of many small roads connecting them. The main one is the Corniche el-Nil along the east bank of the Nile which connects most of the major attractions.

There has recently been some widening work on the main road along the corniche which allows buses from Red Sea resorts to quickly access Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.

The guide of the East Bank in the city of Luxor

East Bank attractions include: Luxor Temple :

Open May  to September 6am to 8pm and October to April 6am to 9pm. Largely the work of Amenhotep III and Ramses II the Great (whose colossi and obelisk stand at the entrance). Also worth seeing is the small "hanging" mosque of Abu el-Haggag, whose position reflects the ground level that had been built before the excavation of the temple precinct. 

The Church of the Archangel Michael:  A church with an impressive large dome. You need a passport to enter. 

The Karnak Temple Complex : Comprises a vast mix of ruined temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. Its construction began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the existing buildings date from the New Kingdom.

The complex consists of four main parts: the Amun-Re district, the Mut district, the Montu district and the dismantled temple of Amenhotep IV, of which only the Amun-Re district and the Mut district are open to visitors. general public. There are also some smaller temples and shrines linking the District of Mut, the District of Amun-Re and Luxor Temple.

The District of Amun-Re:  (commonly referred to as the Temple of Karnak). Open May-September 6am-6pm and October-April 6am-5pm. Another large temple complex. Very crowded at sunset.

Karnak Open Air Museum:  Not to be missed, accessed just before the Second Pylon on the left, with an amazing array of reconstructed statues and temple structures. The ticket must be purchased at the Karnak ticket office, it is a separate ticket.

Do not miss the evening light and sound show, in the evening, it does not include access to the temple, but with a view from a nearby hill and with a separate ticket. 

 

Mut District. 

It contains at least six temples: the Mut Temple, the Contra Temple and the A, B, C and D Temples. All unfortunately in very bad condition. There is also a sacred lake Isheru which surrounds Mut Temple from three sides. Tickets must be purchased at the Karnak Temple ticket office.

The Luxor Museum 

(about halfway between Luxor and Karnak temples on the Corniche el-Nil). Open every day: from October to April 9:00 - 15:00 and 16:00 - 21:00, from May to September 9:00 - 13:00 and 17:00 - 22:00. A small but quality collection of antiquities, mostly from the Luxor region. Includes most of the amazing collection of pharaonic statues found in a hidden cache inside the Luxor Temple in 1989.

The Mummification Museum which is located on the Corniche el-Nil. 

The Temple of Montu

Medamud (5 km northeast of Karnak). The deity Montu was associated with raging bulls, so the temple was an important cult center for bulls, containing many statues and reliefs of bulls. Most of these statues are now in various museums around the world.

The Temple of El-Tod (20 km southwest of Luxor). The site of an ancient Egyptian city and a temple to the Egyptian god Montu.

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By Kate Clark

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