Valley of the Kings & Queens and Karnak Temple, Egypt

Egyptian Muslim Woman Karnak Temple Egypt
Egyptian Muslim Woman 
at Karnak Temple - Egypt
Bentanat Ramses II Wife Daughter Karnak Temple Egypt
Bentanat (Ramses II Wife & Daughter)
- Karnak Temple

Deire Madina Workers' Valley Hot Air Balloon Egypt
Deire Madina (Workers' Valley)
from Hot Air Balloon - Egypt
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ancient Egyptian Sites Egypt
Sunrise from Hot Air Balloon 
Over Ancient Egyptian Sites
Temple of Queen Hatshepsut Egypt
Temple of Queen Hatshepsut - Egypt
Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens and Karnak Temple, Egypt (5/7/2010) - This is one of the amazing places of world history. Karnak Temple is a must see!

We started our day at 3:30 am for a fun exciting hot air balloon ride over the entire Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens while watching the sunrise (see photos) – a unique experience!

Relief at Temple of Queen of Hatshepsut Egypt
Relief at Temple 
of Queen of Hatshepsut - Egypt
The Valley of the Kings (World Heritage Site) where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, 63 elaborate royal tombs and chambers were constructed for the kings and powerful nobles ranging in size from a simple pit to a complex tomb with over 120 chambers. 

All of the tombs (except the tomb of Tutankhamen) seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still give an idea of the opulence and power of the rulers of this time. Not able to take photos in the Valley of the Kings, we visited several tombs such as Ramses IX

The tombs were constructed and decorated by the workers of the village of Deir el-Medina (Worker’s Valley – see photo), located between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. 

In Deir al-Bahr, the Temple of Hatshepsut (see photos) has been restored since 1891 and shows the magnificence of these ancient Egyptian temples. This place gains special attention because Hatshepsut was one of a very few queens of ancient Egypt. She successfully ruled Egypt about 3,500 years ago and re-established trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt. 

We also visited the separate Valley of the Queens, that Ramses I (1301BC) commenced construction, viewing a couple of tombs of Ramses’ children (he had 63 of them!).  

One of our favorite experiences of our trip to Egypt was the Karnak Temple (see photo). Everything is on a gigantic scale (well over a square mile). Karnak Temple is a vast conglomeration of ruined temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amen (the largest religious building ever built). Located near Luxor, Karnak Temple is part of the ancient city of Thebes, which was the religious and cultural capital of ancient Egypt for centuries. 
Hypostyle Hall Karnak Temple Egypt
Hypostyle Hall 
in Karnak Temple - Egypt

Karnak Temple was the most important place of worship in Egypt during the New Kingdom. Starting as early as the 20th century BC, over a 1,500-year period about thirty pharaohs contributed to Karnak Temple's  building, enabling it to reach a size, complexity, and diversity not seen elsewhere. 

Few of the individual features of Karnak Temple are unique, but the size and number of features are overwhelming. We were impressed with the Hypostyle Hall - an area of 50,000 sq. ft. with 134 massive columns (see photos). 

Map of Egypt
Map of Egypt
A quick stop at the 3,400-year old Colossi of Memnon was interesting because these two statues are all that are left of a temple that may have been larger than Karnak Temple but unfortunately was built in a flood plain of the Nile River and has disappeared over the centuries.

For more about amazing Egypt and the Temples and treasures along the Nile River, please see our 5 other blog posts:

and Egypt’s beautiful Red Sea resorts:

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  1. Oh, this post brings back great memories! Egypt's Valleys of the Kings and Queens has some of the richest concentration of the most amazing tombs and temples we've ever seen. Karnak Temple is truly awe-inspiring - we were struck by the dizzying jungle of those 134 colossal papyrus-shaped columns in its Hypostyle Hall.

  2. Now I know where Johnny Carson got the inspiration for the Amazing Karnak! There is so much to learn from Egyptian history. It's easy to see why the Valley of the Kings and Queens and the Karnak Temple are popular destinations.

  3. I was not sure at first. But you not only took the hot air balloon ride over the valleys but you also inspected the temples and tombs up close, right? That's what your pictures show! I have not gone on a hot air balloon ride but this would have been such a spectacular place to do so!


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