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Karnak Temple in Luxor photo

Karnak Temple is one of the world`s largest temples and the largest temple complex in Egypt. It was finished and extended for five centuries by the Pharaohs of different dynasties of the New Kingdom. It was dedicated to Amon, which originally was worshipped only in this locality, but the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom equaled it with Ra, the major deity of Egyptian religion. They began to build the temple in 2000 B.C.

Tourists enter through the huge pylon. Its width is 113 meters, and the walls are 15 meters thick. In the center of the Great Court there survived the statue of Ramses II made of pink granite, as well as a column of the Pavilion of Taharka used to keep sacred boats.

You go through the second pylon and get in the Great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak Temple. Its area is 100 х 52 meters. There are 122 columns in the Hall, and each of them reaches the height of 23 meters. Most columns are made in the form of papyrus rolls, and only the central columns have a characteristic Egyptian style. Having seen the Hypostyle Hall you can go to the obelisks of Tutmos I and Tutmos III. Sometime there were six obelisks made of pink granite. Now there remained only two statues, with the height of 23 meters and the weight of 143 tons.

Near the obelisk you can turn to the right and through the Court of Amenophis III go to the Gate of Ramses IX. Just beyond the Gate there is a special tourist attraction, the Monumental Scarab. The guides tell tourists that if one walks around the scarab ten times, he or she will never again have love problems. So it is common to see the tourists making laps around the scarab.

And if you go straight (not turn to the right), you get to the territory of a relatively restored sanctuary of the Middle Kingdom, as well as the Sanctuary of Sacred Boats.

To the right, there is the Sacred Lake of Karnak Temple. The lake is 120 х 77 meters and was used for ritual navigation. It was surrounded by storerooms, and living quarters for priests. There was also an aviary for aquatic birds. The priests performed there ritual purifications four times a day. Sacred boats of Amon-Ra, kept in the sanctuaries of Karnak Temples, sailed on the lake itself.

Every night «Sound & Light» Show is arranged in Karnak Temple. But you should go only to that version of the performance (for instance Russian) which you could understand. The auditorium is just above the waters of the Sacred Lake.

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Statue of the pharaoh Ramesses II in the first courtyard of Karnak temple
Courtyard in-between the first and second pylons of Karnak temple.
Temple of Ramesses III and the statues of priests
Statues of the priests of Amun in the hypostyle hall of the temple of Ramesses III
First and largest pylon of Karnak temple. It is 115 meters long and 15 meters wide.
Broken obelisks near the second pylon
Great hypostyle hall in Karnak temple.
Giant columns along the passageway of the hypostyle hall in Karnak temple
Papirus-shaped columns in the hypostyle hall.
Columns along the passageway of the hypostyle hall
Passageway of the hypostyle hall in Karnak temple
Every day priests rode on this sacred lake in sacred boats.
Shores of the sacred lake against the background of Karnak temple
Pink granite obelisk of the pharaoh Thutmose I.
Obelisk of the pharaoh Amenophis III and scarab
If you are to believe the tourist guides, you should walk around the scarab 3, 7, or 100 times to get happy.
Cartouches on the third pylon of Amenophis III
Obelisk texts tell about the victories of the pharaoh
8th pylon of the pharaohs Thutmose II and Hatshepsut at Karnak temple
Surviving statue of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut at the 8th pylon
Completely restored small temple of the ancien Egyptian god Khonsu at the 9th pylon of Horemheb
Inner court of the ancient Egyptian temple of Khonsu
Remains of Karnak temple
Courtyard of Amenophis III at the entrance to the hypostyle hall
7th pylon of Thutmose III
Statues of pharaohs in Karnak temple
Alley of the sheep-headed sphinxes of Ramesses III at the first pylon (now the main entrance)
These sphinxes guarded the entrance to Karnak temple
One of the sheep-headed sphinxes at the entrance to Karnak temple
Bas-reliefs on the 8th pylone of the pharaohs Thutmose II and Hatshepsut