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Karnak Temple

The Temple of Karnak in Luxor is a temple complex along the banks of the Nile. It is located about 3 km northeast of the modern city of Luxor and was built between the 15th and 20th centuries BC.

It was considered a very important religious sanctuary in ancient Egypt. It was built and developed by a series of successive pharaohs over the centuries and is still standing today.

The Temple of Karnak is one of the most important Egyptian archaeological sites and one of the largest religious complexes ever built in the world. It consists of three main structures: the temple enclosure, the temple itself and the Great Court.

Entrance to Karnak Temple
Entrance to Karnak Temple

Each of these structures includes temples, pylons, obelisks, and other monuments that testify to its importance over the centuries. The site of Karnak Temple is almost entirely surrounded by an outer wall that contains eight monumental gates, each dedicated to a different god or goddess.

The size and beauty of the gates make it a very impressive place. Once you have entered the complex, you will come across the Great Court, which is also surrounded by an outer wall with six additional monumental gates. This courtyard also contains several temples, obelisks and other religious monuments which again testify to the importance the temple had for the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

Obelisk in Karnak Temple
Obelisk in Karnak Temple

Inside the complex is the temple proper, which is surrounded by several other temples in which the Pharaohs paid homage to local deities such as Ammon-Ra, Khonsu, and Ptah. This main temple has massive columns supporting buttresses that are decorated with reliefs representing the Pharaohs who ruled there. Massive obelisks are also present here, some measuring up to 30 meters high. Although it is now partially damaged due to time and constant looting over the past centuries, the Temple of Karnak remains one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world and even today it offers visitors a unique experience.

Ruins around Karnak Temple
Ruins around Karnak Temple

The majestic ruins still standing offer a captivating glimpse of what the site once was: a sacred place for the ancient pharaohs where they worshipped local deities and believed in the magical power of the Nile.

How to get to Karnak Temple?

Karnak Temple is located about 3 km north of the centre of Luxor. There are several ways to get there from the city centre:

By foot: If you are close to the centre of Luxor, you can walk to Karnak Temple. It can take about 30-45 minutes depending on where you start and how fast you walk.

By taxi: Taxis are plentiful in Luxor and are a convenient and inexpensive way to get to Karnak Temple. Be sure to negotiate the price before you get into the taxi.
The average fare for a 3km taxi ride from central Luxor to Karnak Temple is about 30-50 Egyptian pounds (about €1.50-2.50 per person).

By horse-drawn carriage: Horse-drawn carriages are a more scenic option for getting to Karnak Temple.
The average fare for a 3km carriage ride from the centre of Luxor to Karnak Temple is approximately 150-200 Egyptian Pounds (approximately €7.50-10) for the entire carriage, which usually seats 2-4 people.

Whether by taxi or horse-drawn carriage, be aware that prices can always be negotiated, and it is advisable to set the price in advance to avoid confusion.

By bus: Public buses run regularly from central Luxor to Karnak Temple. Tickets are inexpensive, but the service can be irregular and the buses can be crowded. This is the least recommended option.

Whichever option you choose, it is recommended that you leave early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat and crowds of tourists.