Travel! – Karnak Temple, Egypt

Dear Coilers, have you ever been to Egypt? Even if you have not, you must have been reading or watching about the historical sights of the ancient Egypt. I will try to make you want to visit it yourself. You will thank me later.

One of the best known of the sights is the Karnak Temple in Luxor (ancient city of Thebes) which (officially) dates from 2055 BC to about 100 AD.

Being built within more than 21 centuries, it is not just a plain temple but a complex of temples to witness the history of one of the biggest ancient civilization.

I have to emphasize that ancient Egypt’s history/religion/legends is very hard to understand. It is not just a simple continuation but very complex mix of influences of religion, family affairs, rulers power... to put it simply, it is a soap opera with physical evidence left behind.

The Karnak Temple Complex is home to three main temples, several smaller enclosed temples, and a number of outer temples. Around thirty different pharaohs contributed to the building process of this site, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and diversity not seen elsewhere. It was Ancient Egypt's most sacred site, rulers from the Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom and Ptolemaic Dynasty left their mark there.

The temple of Amun (Amun-Ra), the complex' main structure, is the largest place of worship ever built. It is surrounded by two other gigantic temples, dedicated to Amun's wife Mut and his son, Khonsu. There are other temples like the temple of Ptah, the Ipt temple, the temple of Osiris and the temple of Montu.

The god to whom the ground was originally dedicated could be Montu, a Theban god of war, and there was a part dedicated to him even after the rise of the cult of Amun.

As the temple grew, it became divided into the three sections mentioned above (dedicated to Amun, Mut and Khonsu). These three gods became known as the Theban Triad and were the most popular gods until the cult of Osiris with its triad of Osiris, Isis, and Horus overtook it, which eventually became the Cult of Isis, the most popular in Egyptian history.

The priests of the gods to which temple(s) were dedicated to administered Karnak. There were over 80,000 priests by the end of the New Kingdom and the high priests there were more wealthy than the pharaoh as they were collecting gifts from the people visiting the place, mostly keeping them for themselves.

The most impressive structure of the temple is Hypostyle Hall which covers an area of 5000 square meters with 134 gigantic stone columns with 12 larger central columns standing 24 m high.

The hall was built by Seti I.

The southern wing was completed by Ramesses II.

Later pharaohs including Ramesses III, Ramesses IV and Ramesses VI added their inscriptions to the walls and the columns.

The massive First Pylon was the last built, and today is the main entrance into Karnak. It was built by Ethiopian King Nectanebo I in 380 BC, and is reached by the ‘Avenue of Sphinxes’. The ram-headed sphinxes symbolize the god Amun...

Many more to be said about it, even more to be seen.

I hope I have caught your interest...

Karnak Temple is so complex it is impossible to imagine unless you visit it yourself.

The famous statue of Ramesses II can be seen there, obelisks, scarab...

Karnak is a “must see” place.

If you ever get a chance to visit it, do it!

I am here just to kindle your imagination. You have to leave your sofa and take a flight to see it yourself.

Our planet is wonderful and its sights are to be discovered by all of us.

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