Karnak Temple, Discovering Ancient Egypt

The Karnak Temple
20 / November / 2023

About the Karnak Temple

The Karnak Temple is the largest ancient Egyptian construction in the whole world. The Temple, which was mainly dedicated to the worship of the god Amun, the king of gods of ancient Egypt, is one of the most important, or perhaps the most significant touristic attractions of the East Bank of the city of Luxor

History of the Karnak Temple

The Temple of Karnak with its huge pillars, various sections, huge statues, complexity, and large sacred lake makes it an overwhelming complex constructed over more than 1000 years in ancient Egypt. Today, the Temple of Karnak is the highlight of the city of Luxor explored by hundreds of tourists who travel to Egypt.

The construction process with each Pharaoh and ancient Egyptian king adding his contribution to the Temple of Karnak started in the reign of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC and it remained until the end of the Ptolemaic period in Egypt. This means it took more than 2000 years to be completed.

The first ancient Egyptian king who thought about establishing a temple for the worship of the god Amun at the Karnak was Amenhotep I in the middle of the 16th century BC. He chose this particular location as the ruins of other religious structures built in the Middle Kingdom and occupied the area. However, the king died before achieving his goal. His ancestor, Tuthmosis I was the one to be credited with the first establishment in the Karnak complex.

Interesting Things in the Karnak Temple

The guests enter the Karnak Temple after they walk on the Avenue of Sphinxes. This long route that once connected the Luxor Temple  and Luxor Museum with the Karnak Temple used to host more than 1200 statues of sphinxes that are featured with the body of a lion and the head of a human. Ramses III constructed a temple to the southeast of this pylon and it was dedicated to the worship of the divine trinity of Thebes, Amun, Khunsu, and Mut.

After this relatively small temple, there was the pre-style hall that was open to all the public in ancient times; afterward, there was the hypostyle hall that was specified for the coronation of the various kings of ancient Egypt. At the very end, there was the sanctuary of the temple which the highest priests of Amun were only allowed to enter. Among the most marvelous sections of the Temple of Karnak is the hypostyle hall which is featured with its huge pillars. King Seti, I established this section in the very beginning.

The most wonderful set of huge pillars is that which was constructed by Ramses II. These huge columns are fascinating in their magnitude and height and it is considered to be the largest and most remarkable construction of its type in the whole world.

The hypostyle hall of the Temple of Karnak is 52 meters in length and its width is more than 100 meters. There are 134 huge pillars that are around 20 meters in height, their diameter is more than 3 meters.

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