Results 1-10of 10 Reviews
March 31, 2009
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
February 15, 2008
From journal Sunrise, Sunset: 24 Hours in Luxor
Cary, North Carolina
June 6, 2006
From journal Luxor Egypt, Not Vegas
November 22, 2005
Simply put, Karnak is the largest temple ever built in the history of the human race. The sheer size of the temple will astound virtually anybody. However, it needs to be recognized that what we see today as the Karnak temple is the result of 1,300 years of building on the temple grounds.
Karnak is actually a complex of three separate temples built for three different gods: Amun, Mut, and Montu. The most impressive part of the the temple complex is the Hypostyle Hall. This shows up soon after entering through the main doors and then passing through the Second Pylon. This hall is comprised of 7 rows of columns that are 42 feet high. Each row contains 9 columns apiece. Standing in the center of it and looking up makes you feel like Gulliver in the land of Giants. Just this one hall, which is a small part of the Karnak complex, is bigger than several of the large cathedrals in Europe combined. Along many of the walls around Karnak are hieroglyphs depicting scenes of politics, war, and religion with the appropriate pharaohs who had them built during their reigns. There are a number of smaller temple buildings scattered around the complex dedicated to many other gods than the three main ones. There is also a large lake on the grounds that was believed to be sacred and is called the Sacred Lake. This is a sight that is not to be missed.
We actually went to Karnak twice, once for the tour itself and then again for the laser and light show at night. Although the laser show was interesting, the one at the Great Pyramid in Giza was far better. I actually enjoyed touring the temple complex during the day much better. I was able to take in the sheer magnitude of the temple while at the same time marvel at the details carved on the reliefs throughout the complex.
From journal The Sands of Time
April 23, 2004
From journal Exploring Egypt 2004
February 8, 2003
The small and forgotten temple of Khonsu is nice, just some hundred meters outside. Or the outdoor museum too, where there is the red chapel of Hatshepsut and her obelisk. But I really love Hypostyle Hall of Seti I/Ramses II - it is amazing. Guardians are very helpful and show you where to take that perfect photo, but remember bakhsis.
From journal My Luxor
March 15, 2002
A row of sphinxes line the entrance to Karnak Temple. During Queen Hatshepsut's reign these sphinxes lined a paved avenue all the way to Luxor Temple 3 km away. Only the sphinxes near both temples have been excavated. The others are buried beneath the city.
Entering the much photographed Great Hypostyle Hall, we were dwarfed by the seeminly endless array of magnificent stone columns, 134 of them to be exact! Built by Amenophis III originally, Seti and Ramses II both added more pillars during their reigns. Ramses II also erected large statues of himself at the entrance to Hypostyle Hall, and built a double rowed avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, apparently trying to outdo Hatshepsut.
In the oldest part of the complex, Tuthmosis III again attempted to erase evidence of his aunt's reign by destroying Hatshepsut's monuments. He erected a sandstone wall around her two pink granite obelisks. Today one of the obelisks stands proudly beyond hypostyle hall, while the other lies on the ground beside the Sacred Lake. At 29 meters high, it is the tallest obelisk in Egypt. It was interesting to see the hieroglyphic images that were carved into the stone are larger at the top, allowing people to read easily from the ground.
Near the Sacred Lake (where priests cleansed each morning) is a large scarab beetle which was built by Amenophis III to signify good luck. Legend has it that if you walk around the beetle counter-clockwise seven times, you will have a child. So I scampered off to the scarab, and sure enough, it brought good luck. I now have a baby daughter!
There were lots of cubbyholes and interesting places to explore and take photos. But we didn't come close to visiting all 29 temples within the 200 acre complex. Later, we visited Karnak at night for the 90 minute Sound & Light Show. Rather than being seated for the presentation, like at the pyramids, we were shuffled through the complex as a large group in the dark, and stood at the sights as they were explained and illuminated. Near the end, we were led to stadium seats overlooking Sacred Lake for the remaining portion of the presentation.
Tip: Our tour company charged us $30 US to attend the Sound & Light Show at Karnak, when the admission cost only $9 US. Beware! Your guide will not accompany you inside, so why pay triple for transportation? Grab a taxi and go independently. You can purchase tickets at the site.
From journal Honeymoon in Luxor
December 4, 2000
Guides explain in detail the time period, the ruler, the materials used such as granite. Much of the information is comprehensible, but would have been even better were I well read.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
November 20, 2000
On the entrance, an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes and statues of Ramses II. After crossing the first gate, we found an ample court surrounded with columns, some unfinished. But farther ahead is the temple's great Hypostele Hall, with over a hundred huge columns spread on 6000 sq m. Other gates and halls follow, their walls decorated with carvings depicting religious and war scenes. One of the obelisks of Tuthmosis II, 23 m high, and one of Hatshepsut, 26 m, still stand on the site. The later is estimated to weigh 320 ton and was built from a single block of Aswan granite.
From journal The apogee of ancient Egypt
November 5, 2000
From journal Ancient Luxor