LUXOR (with Dendara Temple)
The name ’Luxor’ meaning ’the palaces’, this small Egyptian city offers the traveller a sheer grandeur of monumental architecture. The worlds largest open air museum Luxor is the highlight of every visit to Egypt. Travellers have been visiting Luxor for centuries, marvelling at the splendid temples of Karnak, Ramses II and Hatschepsut and following the footsteps of the excavators into the famous tombs of the Valley of the Kings. Around 4000 years ago, where now the modern city of Luxor stretches along the Nile was Theben, the capital of the Middle and New Kingdom and centre of power of the Great pharaohs. The ancient Egyptians used to build their palaces and temples on the East banks of the river, whereas the West bank was the realm of the dead, with tombs and mortuary temples being erected where the sun was setting. The modern city of Luxor is fairly small, occupying only the east bank of the Nile river, while the West bank harbours the small village of El Gouna. You can easily wonder around by foot in the city and discover the bazaar that stretches behind the Luxor temple. Alternatively, you could hire one of the numerous horse carriages and take a ride through the cities small alleys. Visiting the major sites of Luxor takes at least three days. You can reach the city by plane from Cairo, Aswan, Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh (flight time up to 1 hour) or alternatively by train from Cairo (9 hours) or Aswan (4 hours) or by private vehicle or bus from Aswan or Hurghada (joining a convoy accompanied by tourism police and leaving at set times every day). Luxor has warm, dry and sunny weather all year round but can become real hot during the summer months of June to August. In the following we are introducing the major sights of Luxor, starting with monuments on the East bank and than moving to sights on the West bank.