A modern-day city in Egypt, Luxor sits right next to one of the longest rivers in the world, the river Nile. The modern name Luxor derives from the Arabic name al-uksur, meaning ‘the fort’ or ‘the palaces’, which refer to a Roman fort built in the area. The city itself once served as a capital of Egypt, instead of Cairo which sits 400 miles north of Luxor.
With Egypt being rich in historical and cultural heritage, the city of Luxor sits on top of the remains of an ancient town named Thebes, which the ancient Egyptians called ‘Waset’. Deemed as one of the most spectacular in the country, it had a population of around 50,000. In ancient times, the city was known to be where god, Amun resided, a figure who became associated with Egyptian royalty. During Egypt’s ‘New Kingdom’ period, 1550-1050 B.C., most of its rulers, with one being that of King Tutankhamun, was believed to have been buried close to the city in the nearby, Valley of the Kings.
Only a small pavilion is all that remains of previous building on the site, though there may have been a temple there earlier in the 18th dynasty if not before. The Luxor temple complex has sphinxes beautifully lining the path towards the entrance and eventually reaching the ruins of the temple itself. Luxor with other Theban sites including, Valley of the Queens and Valley of the Kings was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. With excavations and preservation efforts still ongoing, a number of 18th dynasty statues have been uncovered and in 1975, the Luxor Museum was unveiled.
Luxor and its surrounding areas have much to offer to ancient history enthusiasts or holidaymakers in general. The river Nile, for example, inhabits some of the most amazing animals including the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus, monitor lizards, softshell turtles, to name but a few. You can also visit the Temple Complex of Karnak, Tombs of the Nobles, Colossi of Memnon, Rammeseum and Valley of the Queens.
Planning a holiday to see Egypt’s ancient ruins need not be difficult with package holidays available in 2019, which also include attractions, Hurghada, El Gouna, Sahl Hasheesh, Soma Bay and Marsa Alam. The river Nile cruise comes highly-recommended and with many options to choose from, including stay holidays in Luxor, Cairo, and the Red Sea. Spend up to two weeks exploring to your heart’s desire.
Book your trip of a lifetime today by calling 0800 193 8382 for more information.