Karnak temple is a vast open air museum, it’s the largest temple all over the world. NO site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It’s not just one temple but three temples within each other, dedicated to god Amun Ra, his wife goddess Mut and their son god Khnsu.
This huge temple complex was the biggest cult center at Thebes (modern day Luxor) during the time of the new kingdom 18th dynasty 1500 BC. It took the ancient Egyptians more than 2000 years building this temple, more than 30 kings contributed to the building each of them added something to satisfy “Amun Ra” and that’s how it became the largest of the Egyptian temples.
The main entrance of “the great Karnak”as called by the archeologist, is decorated by a ram-headed avenue of
Sphinxes (symbolizing god Amun Ra), which was built by king Ramses II to protect the Temple.
Although Karnak temple took the ancient Egyptians too long building it, they never finished it, as it’s huge entrance-originally some 40 m (131 ft) high was left unfinished, as may be seen by the unequal height of it’s upper surface and it’s decorated rough walls.
Within the open courtyard of Karnak temple, there is a smaller temple built by king Ramses III, a huge alabaster alter at the middle and 2 big statues of king Ramses II.
Beyond the courtyard you will find yourself at the impressive hall of columns of Karnak temple. A veritable forest in stone, 134 papyrus columns, the center 12 being larger (21m or 69 ft tall), the remaining 122 along the side smaller (15 m or 49 ft tall) and the reason for changing heights as the central ones were built by king Seti the first and side smaller ones were built by Rameses the second
Have you ever asked yourself what does an obelisk mean?
Obelisk means “needle” in Greek that’s why Cleopatra’ obelisk is called Cleopatra’s needle.
Of the 4 obelisks built by queen Hatshepsuit, 2 have disappeared entirely and 2 still in place, unfortunately a damaged one and its top part is near by the sacred lake of the temple , while the other one is still very well preserved as it’s the tallest obelisk all over Egypt (around 30 m high) and made out of one single piece of solid red granite !!
If you want to know more about the secrets of Karnak temple you can book a tour to Karnak and luxor temples and leave the rest for us !