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5 Must-See Sites on a Luxor West Bank Tour

Aug 1

I. Valley of the Kings

The Luxor West Bank is home to some of Egypt's most iconic and historically significant sites. A tour of the West Bank is an essential part of any visit to Luxor, and one of the highlights is the Valley of the Kings. Here's a closer look at this remarkable archaeological site:

Importance and significance of the Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings was the burial site of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom period, which spanned from the 16th to the 11th century BC. It is located on the west bank of the Nile River and was chosen for its hidden location to protect the tombs from grave robbers. The valley contains 63 tombs, including those of famous pharaohs such as Tutankhamun and Ramses II. The Valley of the Kings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides valuable insights into ancient Egyptian burial practices and beliefs.

Famous tombs and artefacts

The Valley of the Kings is renowned for its beautifully decorated tombs and the treasures they contain. Some of the most famous tombs include:

  • [[Tutankhamun]]: The tomb of Tutankhamun, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries ever. It contained a wealth of treasures, including the pharaoh's iconic golden burial mask.

  • [[Ramses II]]: The tomb of Ramses II, also known as the "Great Tomb," is the largest and most elaborately decorated tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It is a testament to the power and grandeur of one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs.

  • [[Hatshepsut]]: The tomb of Hatshepsut, one of the few female pharaohs in ancient Egypt, features stunning reliefs depicting her life and achievements.

Introduction to the Valley of the Kings

Upon arrival at the Valley of the Kings, visitors will be mesmerized by the grandeur and history surrounding them. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • The valley is located on the east bank of the Nile River, opposite the city of Luxor.

  • The tombs are carved into the limestone cliffs of the valley, and each tomb is unique in its design and decorations.

  • Visitors can explore a limited number of tombs, as not all are open to the public.

  • Photography is generally not allowed inside the tombs to preserve delicate artwork.

  • The Valley of the Kings can be quite hot, so it's advisable to bring water, sunscreen, and a hat for protection.

A visit to the Valley of the Kings is a journey back in time, offering a glimpse into the lives and afterlives of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Plan a Luxor West Bank tour to explore this incredible archaeological site and immerse yourself in Egypt's rich history.


II. Hatshepsut Temple

The Hatshepsut Temple is one of the must-see sites on a Luxor West Bank tour. This ancient temple is located near the Valley of the Kings and offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of ancient Egypt. Here are some key highlights of the Hatshepsut Temple:

Unique features and attractions

  • The Hatshepsut Temple is unique because it was built for a female pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt during the 15th century BC.
  • The temple's architecture is impressive, with its three terraces built into the mountain's rock face.
  • The temple features beautiful relief carvings and statues, including the famous Punt reliefs depicting Queen Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt.
  • Visitors can explore the various chambers and sanctuaries of the temple, including the Birth Colonnade and the Anubis Chapel.

History and architecture of the temple

  • The construction of the Hatshepsut Temple began during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut's predecessor, Thutmose II, and was completed during her reign.
  • The temple was dedicated to the god Amun and to Queen Hatshepsut, who was worshipped as a divine ruler.
  • The temple's architecture is a unique blend of traditional Egyptian design and innovative features, such as the three terraces and the ceremonial ramp leading to the main entrance.
  • The reliefs and inscriptions on the temple walls tell the story of Queen Hatshepsut's reign and her achievements as a ruler.

Overview of Hatshepsut Temple

  • The Hatshepsut Temple is considered one of the finest examples of ancient Egyptian architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The temple offers stunning panoramic views of the desert and the sacred Nile River.
  • Visitors can learn about the history and significance of the temple through informative signage and guided tours.
  • The Hatshepsut Temple is a must-see site for anyone interested in ancient Egyptian history and culture, offering a fascinating glimpse into the life and reign of Queen Hatshepsut.

To learn more about the Hatshepsut Temple, you can visit its dedicated


III. Colossi of Memnon

The Colossi of Memnon are remarkable on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt. Here's some information about these ancient statues:

Interesting facts and legends surrounding the statues

  • The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues depicting the pharaoh Amenhotep III.
  • According to Greek mythology, the statues were named after Memnon, the Ethiopian king and son of the goddess Eos. It is said that they made a musical sound at dawn, which was believed to be the voice of Memnon greeting his mother.
  • The statues have attracted visitors and pilgrims since ancient times, with many leaving graffiti and inscriptions on the statues. The most famous inscription was left by the Roman emperor Hadrian.

Historical background and significance

  • The Colossi of Memnon was built around 1350 BC during the reign of Amenhotep III, who was one of the most powerful pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty.
  • The statues were originally part of a larger temple complex dedicated to Amenhotep III and the sun deity Aten. The temple was known as the "Mansion of Millions of Years."
  • The Colossi of Memnon were meant to guard the temple entrance and depict the pharaoh seated, wearing the royal regalia.
  • The statues were made of quartzite sandstone and stood approximately 18 meters (59 feet).

Information on the Colossi of Memnon

  • Today, only the statues remain standing, as earthquakes and floods largely destroyed the temple complex over the centuries.
  • The statues recently underwent restoration and conservation efforts to preserve their historical and cultural significance.
  • Visitors to the Colossi of Memnon can admire the grandeur and craftsmanship of these ancient sculptures up close.
  • The statues have become a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors worldwide fascinated by their size and history.

You can visit their Wikipedia page for more information on the Colossi of Memnon.


IV. Deir el-Medina

Life of the ancient workers and Artisans

Deir el-Medina is a fascinating archaeological site on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor, Egypt. It was once a village inhabited by skilled craftsmen and workers who constructed and decorated the nearby tombs and temples of the pharaohs during the New Kingdom period. Here are some key facts about Deir el-Medina:

  • The workers of Deir el-Medina were responsible for creating some of the most intricate and beautiful tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.

  • These craftsmen were highly skilled in painting, carving, and sculpting. They were experts in their field and were the elite artisans of ancient Egypt.

  • Life in Deir el-Medina was quite different from life outside the village. The workers had their own village regulations and legal system.

  • The village was a tightly-knit community, and the inhabitants lived in small, well-preserved mud-brick homes with courtyards.

  • The workers and their families were well taken care of and provided food, clothing, and medical care.

History and purpose of the site

Deir el-Medina was established during the reign of Amenhotep I in the 18th Dynasty and continued to be occupied until the 20th Dynasty. The village was created specifically for the workers and their families, who were dedicated to working on the royal tombs.

The purpose of the village was to ensure the secrecy and security of the tombs being constructed in the nearby valleys. The craftsmen and their families were prohibited from leaving the village without permission, and their activities and movements were closely monitored.

Introduction to Deir el-Medina

Visiting Deir el-Medina provides a unique glimpse into the lives of the ancient workers and artisans of ancient Egypt. Some highlights of the site include:

  • Well-preserved homes: The mud-brick homes of Deir el-Medina have stood the test of time and offer a rare insight into the daily lives of the workers.

  • Ancient artefacts: The site is scattered with ancient artefacts, including tools, pottery, and personal items that provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the inhabitants.

  • Tombs and shrines: While the main focus of Deir el-Medina was on the construction of tombs, there were also shrines and chapels dedicated to the gods where the workers would have made offerings.

  • Wall paintings and reliefs: The tombs and temples at Deir el-Medina feature stunning wall paintings and reliefs that depict scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology and religious rituals.

If you're interested in ancient history and want to explore the lives of the ancient workers and artisans, visiting Deir el-Medina is a must on your Luxor West Bank tour.

V. Medinet Habu

Medinet Habu is one of the must-see sites on a Luxor West Bank tour. This ancient temple complex is an impressive testament to the power and grandeur of the New Kingdom pharaohs. Here are some key highlights of Medinet Habu:

Notable features and intricate carvings

Medinet Habu is known for its intricate carvings and well-preserved reliefs that depict scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology and historical events. Some notable features include:

  • The outer walls of the temple complex are adorned with detailed carvings of battle scenes and triumphs of the pharaohs.
  • The Great Hypostyle Hall, with its massive columns and beautifully carved reliefs.
  • The inner sanctuaries were dedicated to the gods and goddesses worshipped during the New Kingdom period.

Description of the temple complex

The temple complex of Medinet Habu is one of the largest and most well-preserved in Egypt. Pharaoh Ramesses III built it as a mortuary temple and a centre for religious rituals. The complex covers an area of approximately 300,000 square meters and consists of several structures, including:

  • The main temple was dedicated to the god Amun and other deities.
  • The Palace of Ramesses III, where the pharaoh resided during religious ceremonies.
  • The memorial chapels, which were built for Ramesses III and his predecessors.

Overview of Medinet Habu

Medinet Habu provides visitors with a glimpse into ancient Egypt's religious and cultural significance. The temple complex reflects the wealth and power of the pharaohs during the New Kingdom period. It is also an important archaeological site, offering valuable insights into the religious practices and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.

To learn more about Medinet Habu and its historical significance, visit the Medinet Habu Wikipedia page.

Whether you're a history enthusiast or simply interested in experiencing the ancient wonders of Luxor, a tour of Medinet Habu should not be missed. The intricate carvings, monumental structures, and rich history make it a fascinating site to explore on your Luxor West Bank tour.


Tips for visiting the Luxor West Bank

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you will be doing a lot of walking and climbing.
  • Bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as the West Bank can get hot, especially during summer.
  • Hire a knowledgeable guide who can provide insights and historical context to enhance your experience.
  • Respect the sites and do not touch or remove any artefacts.
  • Consider visiting in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and the heat.

With its wealth of historical treasures, the Luxor West Bank is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of ancient Egypt. Plan your visit, and prepare to embark on a journey through time.