Egyption History & Travel - 2010

Night Visit The overall size of this temple is insignificant compared to the whole complex at Karnak. This temple is 623 ft by 181 ft. Remember that just the main hall of the one temple in Karnak was 50,000 square feet. Nonetheless, the visit to Luxor was in some ways almost more enjoyable because it was smaller and easier to comprehend. The experience was also enriched by the fact that we visited Luxor Temple at night with its excellent lighting scheme and with a quarter moon hanging in a blue velvet sky above the pylons and the obelisks. The effect was deeply satisfying and even moving. The night was still hot hot on our skin but the feelings evoked by this experience were magical and transported us away from the heat and the crowds. A curious factoid from the building of Luxor concerns the fate of one of the obelisks which had been erected in front of the temple by Ramses the Great. One of them still stands, but the other is in Paris at the center of La Place de la Concorde. Abu Simbel - Ramses II and Nefertari Temples This is probably the most famous New Kingdom structure because of the enormous task so much of the world undertook to save it from the flooding that would follow the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the l964-68. The United Nations and many individual countries and people contributed money and technical assistance in moving the statues from its location on the banks of the Nile up 213 ft. higher and 656 ft. back from the waters of what would become Lake Nasser following the closing of the dam. The total cost at the time was 40 million dollars. One cannot even imagine what the cost would be today! It is rightfully a UNESCO World Heritage site today and is open to the public.


The entire complex was sliced from its original site and moved to an artificial domed structure to house the interior temples and support the outside statues and pylons. The entire site was carefully cut into huge blocks weighing from 20-30 tons each, then dismantled, lifted and reassembled at the new position. Pictures of the procedures used to accomplish this stupendous relocation act are as awe-inspiring as the ancient statues and temples themselves. The site's modern name comes from the young Nubian boy who showed the European archeologists in the late 1800s where the great statues stood.


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