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The East Nile: Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple Complex

Day five of the 2019 Beyond Words Cruise

Karnak Temple Complex

After breakfast aboard the ship, you will immerse yourself into the rich history and impressive architecture of ancient Luxor on the East bank of the Nile. Our guide will paint us a picture of what these locations looked like in their prime.

Temple of Luxor

Kom Ombo Temple

The Luxor Temple was a center of pomp and ceremony in Ancient Thebes. Experts believe that kings were crowned in this place and the great fertility festival of Opet was celebrated yearly, featuring an elaborate parade from nearby Karnak Temple. You will feel the depth of history and fervor of emotions that have been experienced in this place, from the time it was constructed by Amenhotep III to the era of Alexander the Great and later the Romans.

Imagine these great sandstone walls decorated with silver, gold, and marble as you walk from the front entrance past remarkably preserved reliefs. The images of Rameses II are ever present in the form of awe-inspiring statues, which he commissioned during his 38 year reign during the New Kingdom. We will walk amongst 32 ornate sandstone columns to visit the granite shrine of Alexander the Great as well as the great sanctuary.

Karnak Temple Complex

Karnak Temple Complex

Once upon a time, one could walk the 3 kilometers from the Luxor to the Karnak temple complex with an avenue of sphinxes on either side. This avenue is still under excavation, but the sense of history will be palpable on your walk from one East Bank temple to the other.

The Karnak temple complex is a vast collection of ruined temples, columns, chapels, and other buildings—the largest temple complex in the world after Angkor Wat in Cambodia. In fact, the ancient temple covered over 200 acres, which must have inspired an awe for the divine in the people of Ancient Thebes—and likely will inspire your awe as well. The centerpiece is the precinct of Amun-Re, where the divine link between the Pharaoh and the god Amun was celebrated. Towering above you in the main precinct of Amun-Re will be 16 rows of a total of 134 ornate columns with decorative friezes depicting the sun god and his servants.

After your day exploring the legendary East Bank of the Nile, you will enjoy some downtime and a satisfying dinner aboard the Farah.