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“AMENHPTEP III” the 18th Dynasty king , built the temple of Luxor close to the bank of the Nile just south of the city . The Egyptians called the temple “Apet-Resyet” It was dedicated to Amun and his wife “Mut” and his son “Khonsu” respectively . Like all Egyptian temples , it included the sanctuaries of the gods , a large hypostyle hall , and an open court . The temple was 190 meters in length while its widest breadth reached 50 meters . Opposite to the temple was a granite chapel erected by Thutmosis III , During the religious revolution under Amenophis IV .

The name and figures of Amun were obliterated , and a sanctuary of Atun was built beside the temple . Thutankhamun , who transferred the royal residence back to Thebes , decorated the walls of the colonnade with reliefs and destroyed the temple of Atun . In the reign of Seti I , the figures of Amun were restored . Ramesses II , the greatest builder among the pharaohs , constructed a large court with a colonnade in front of the temple , and erected a massive pylon .

The first pylon and two statues of Ramesses II

After the introduction of Christianity , this temple was converted to a church . In front of the pylon were six colossal statues of king Ramesses II , two in sitting position and four in a standing position . One of the two in the sitting position and one in standing position remain now in there places . In front of these statues stood two obelisks of pink granite . They were erected by Ramesses II , One of them has adorned the square in Conrad in Paris since 1836 . The second is still standing in the front of the first pylon .

The exterior walls of the pylons are adorned with reliefs referring to the campaign against the Hittites that Ramesses II carried in Syria in 5th year of his reign . These walls have suffered severely throughout the times. Beyond the pylon lies the great court of Ramesses II , Which was entirely surrounded by a couple of rows of papyrus columns 74 in Total.

On a platform in the northwestern corner lies an ancient chapel built by Thutmosis II . It was restored and adorned by Ramesses II . It contained three chambers each contains the sacred bark of the god . The chamber in the center was dedicated to Amun , the one on the west to Mut . and that on the east to Khnsu . In the northeastern corner of this court , The Muslims built the Mosque of Abu-El-Haggag .

The walls of the court are covered with reliefs and inscriptions including sacrificial scenes , hymns to the god , and representations of the the conquered nation. The colonnade was built by Amenhotep III , It includes 7 pairs of columns Thutankhamun decorated the walls with reliefs showing what is called Opet feast of Amun . In this festival , the sacred boats of Amun ,Mut and Khonsu were brought in splendid procession from Karnak to Luxor Temple , The festival took place at height of the Nile flood and continued for 24 days .

In this festival the priests bore the sacred boats of the gods on their shoulders to the river , and then they towed the boat up stream in splendid procession . On the opposite wall there are scenes of the return procession.

The court of Amenhotep III …..

The court lies to the south of the colonnade . It has two rows of columns on each side .

The Hypostyle Hall ……

To the south of Amenhotep III’s court lies the hypostyle Hall comprising 32 gigantic columns arranged in four roes each having eight columns . A door in the center of the rear wall of this hall leads to a small hall , which originally had eight columns . This hall was converted into a church by the end of the 4th century . On the walls are remains of important Christian paintings .

I the middle of the rear wall of the hall , which was converted into a church , is a door that lead to another small hall with four papyrus columns . Its wall reliefs show Amenhotep III before Amun and other deities .

The Sanctuary of Alexander the Great ……………..

Directly behind the previously mentioned hall is a chamber that originally had four columns supporting its roof . In the reign of Alexander the Great , these columns were removed and replaced with a complete chapel in which the sacred boat the interior and the exterior walls of this chapel represent Alexander before Amun and his fellow gods . but those on te walls of chamber still show Amenhotep III before Theban deities .

The Birth Room …….

It lies east to the sanctuary . Its walls are carved with reliefs depicting the divine birth of Amenhotep III .

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