The Temple of Karnak

In ancient Egypt, the power of god Amon in Thebes gradually increased in the early New Kingdom, and shortly after the persecution led by Akhenaten, it has peaked. Under the reign of Ramesses III, more than two-thirds of property owned by the temples belonged to Amun, as evidenced by the magnificent buildings of the temple of Karnak. Although ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive as the temples of Karnak. It is the largest temple ever built by man and represents the overall achievement of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak is actually composed of three main temples, small temples and several outer temples located about three kilometers north of Luxor.


Karnak is actually the sites modern name. Its old name was "Ipet-isut", meaning "The most sacred places."

This vast complex was built and enlarged over a period of 113 years. The three main temples of Mut, Montu and Amun are closed by enormous brick walls. The outdoor museum is located north of the first courtyard, facing the sacred lake. The main complex, the temple of Amun, is situated in the center of the entire complex. Temple Monthu is north of the temple of Amun, and beside him, inside the enclosure wall is the temple of Ptah, while the Temple of Mut is to the south. There is also a small temple dedicated to Khonsu, and next to him, even a small temple of Opet. In fact, there are a number of small temples and chapels on the spread of Karnak, such as the Temple of Osiris Hek-Djet (Heqadjet), which is actually inside wall of the temple of Amen.































The exterior walls of the pillared hall are covered with scenes of battle. Again, Seti I is to the north and Ramesses II is south. The scenes have long since lost their color has been painted and the outlines of scenes have been blurred by centuries of wind and sun. Not sure if the battle scenes are based on historical fact or of ritual significance. We believe that when the battle details are very precise, real events are probably more relevant. Seti battles take place in Lebanon in the south of Palestine and Syria. The southern walls of Ramesses II have hieroglyphic texts which record the data because of the Hittite king and Ramesses II signing a peace treaty in the twenty-first year of the reign of Ramses. This is the first evidence found for a formal agreement is certainly diplomatic history.

The room is cross beyond the back wall of the pillared hall. The wall is mostly ruined. With transverse Hall is partially rebuilt a third Pylon of Amenhotep (Amenophis) III. The room is the first cross-sections of the complex of Karnak which are still in existence.

Out of the pillared hall in the third pylon you come to a narrow courtyard where he was once more obelisks. An obelisk was erected by Tuthmosis I (1504 - 1492 BC) who was the father of Hatshepsut. The obelisk is 70 feet (21.3m) tall and weighs about 143 tons. Over the centuries between Tuthmosis I and Ramesses VI, the kings of the day did more than its share of destruction and dismantling. This obelisk was never touched. The original listing has been left in its place. However, two kings did add their inscription on either side of the original. Beyond this obelisk is the only obelisk of Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BC). It is 97 feet (29.6m) tall and weighs about 320 tons. Besides the Lateran obelisk in Rome is the largest standing obelisk. The Rome is 101 feet (30.7m) high. Hatshepsut was a woman who dared to challenge the tradition of male kingship. She died of causes not disclosed after imposing his will for some time. After his death, his name and memory suffered attempted systematic obliteration. The inscription on the monument says: "O ye people who see this monument in the years to come and talk about what I did, beware lest you say, 'I do not know why this was done . I did it because I want to make a gift for my father Amun, and to gild with electrum.

Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BC) is the successor to Hatshepsut. When he came to power, he built a high wall around her obelisk. The wall hid the lower two thirds, but the upper left dominant. It was thought that it was easier and cheaper way to destroy his memory that tear down and remove it. If Tuthmosis III had really wanted to destroy the obelisk, he would certainly have torn down and removed. Perhaps this is another reason for its construction of the wall. The top of the obelisk was visible for 50 miles (80 km). The pink granite of the obelisk was quarried in Aswan, which is several hundred miles south of Karnak. The stone was moved several miles from the river and shipped to Thebes. The creation of the stone is shown on reliefs as the pharaoh the face with a single rope tied to its upper end. It is probably more symbolic, but may have been done with hundreds of people stand together. South of the standing obelisk is its companion which has fallen. He also made a single block of granite but is now broken.

The Sixth Pylon, which was built by Tuthmosis III, leads to a hall of records in which the King recorded his tributes. Very little remains of this archive beyond two granite pillars. Just beyond these pillars lies the Holy of Holies or sanctuary. The origin, he was the oldest part of the temple. This shrine was built by the brother of Alexander the Great, Philip Arrhidaeus (323-316 BC) who was the king of Macedonia. This shrine was built on the site of the ancient sanctuary built by Tuthmosis III. This site contains blocks of Tuthmosis sanctuary and still contain Tuthmosis' inscriptions. The shrine is built in two sections.

Open hours of Karnak Temple

Temples of Karnak are open from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm in winter and from 6 am to 6 hours in summer. Admission is LE1 20 for foreigners, LE 10 for students, 2 for Egyptians and LE 1 for Egyptian students. Visit the outdoor museum, left the second tower, the additional cost LE 10. The museum contains a collection of statues were found throughout the temple. The ticket must be purchased in the main ticketing Karnak.

Karnak takes at least half a day to walk around its walls and many years to come to know.

Sound and Light Show at Karnak Temple

There is also a sound and light show at Karnak. The show begins with a historical introduction covering the birth of the great city of Thebes and erection of the temple of Karnak. The exhibition also tells the glorious achievements of some great Pharaohs. Spectators listen to a beautiful and poetic description of the artistic treasures and great legacy that surrounds the temple of Karnak.




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In the Great Temple of Amon, the Second Pylon of Karnak was built by Ramses II. The Ptolemies did some extensive repairing and some new building on the central section. Curiously, they left the columns and facade of the First Pylon unfinished and mud-brick ramp where it was. The reason why the work is in abeyance is not clear.

The pillared hall was found after crossing the far post. The hall is considered one of the greatest architectural masterpieces. Construction began during Ramesses I reigned. He was the king who founded the Nineteenth Dynasty was king for only one year. The work continued under Seti I (1306 - 1290 BC). Seti I also built the temple of Abydos and many other temples. The hall was completed by Seti I, son of Ramses II. The effects produced in the room are very different from what they were originally. The huge architraves are not above the capitals that tower above. Towards the center of the hall several architraves and windows that have stone lattice remain.

This small area can give an idea of the builders intended for lighting effects. A little imagination is required here to appreciate what must have air d '. Walls, ceilings and columns are painted with natural earth tones. The light was originally authorized retained most of the room in shadow. The hall ceiling was 82 feet high and was supported by 12 papyrus columns. The columns are made of sandstone and set in two rows of six. Each row is flanked on both sides of 7 rows of columns which are 42 feet (12.8) high. Each row has 9 columns, however, within the lines of 7 columns. The reliefs throughout the hall contain symbolism of Creation. The reliefs in the northern half are from the period of Seti I and are obviously doing better than those made by his son Ramses II, who are in the southern half. Ramses II reliefs are cut much deeper than those of Seti. This gives a much more dramatic shadow and light.