It’s located to the south of Karnak Temple, in the heart of the city of Luxor.
It was known as “ipt rsyt” which means the Southern Opet. This temple was built above the older construction. There were blocks reused in the outer wall of the temple that was built during the reign of king Amenhotep III and other remains have been found date back to the time of King Sobekhotep II.
Hatshepsut was the 1st one to begin the process of creating the processional way between the two temples of Karnak and Luxor.
Amenhotep III decided to renew the buildings of Luxor Temple as he expanded the temple from the north by adding a courtyard to the north.
Its original entrance from the north but now it’s opened from the western entrance.
The Interior Design:
1. The Avenue of Sphinx:
There was a religious procession moved between the temples of Karnak and Luxor along with 2.5km in the avenue of sphinx.
The causeway was lined with a thousand of ram-headed sphinxes backed by gardens and pools.
The avenue begun during the New Kingdom but took its final from during the reign of king Nectanepo I (30th dynasty).
There is a courtyard built by Nectanebo I between the 1st pylon and the avenue. There is a small chapel in the north-west corner built by Hadrian and dedicated to Serapis in the 2nd Cen. A.D.
2. The First Pylon:
In front of the 1st pylon, Ramses II erected 2 red granite obelisks, one of them still standing nowadays and the other removed to Paris. However, their bases decorated with 4 baboons carved on its face.
There are six colossi, two sitting and flanking the entrance while the other four are standing and one of them still intact of Ramses II.
The pylon consisted of two towers carved with scenes of Ramses II while smiting his enemies.
3. The Great Court:
It was built by Ramses II and known as “the Feast Court OR the Temple of R.II mry imn united with eternity”
The Right hand side is occupied by triple shrines of Tutmosis III, which dedicated to the Theban Triad: Amon, Mut and Khonso. They were erected by Hatshepsut then usurped by Tutmosis III. Later it was restored and re-erected by R.II. These shrines are preceded by 4 columns.
The Left hand side, there is a Christian Church and Mosque of Sidi Abu El-Hagag.
The court is decorated by double row of papyrus columns with bud capitals “74 columns”
There are number of standing statues of R.II and in front of the southern doorway, there are 2 colossal statues of R.II.
4. The Colonnade of Amenhotep III:
It was built by Amenhotep III; it was intending to be the last part of the temple. It was decorated with 7 open papyrus capitals columns on either side. The scenes of this colonnade considered the beast source of study the Opet Festival.
There are scenes of the procession from Karnak to Luxor and return, these scenes started by Tutankhamun and finished by Ay but Hormheb usurped these decorations and during the reign of Seti I, more additions were done to the scenes as his scenes carved in high relief.
5. The Court of Amenhotep III:
It was built by Amenhotep III to the south of the colonnade. It’s surrounded on three sides by 60 columns with bud capitals.
The court was dedicated to Amon, who Amenhotep III claimed to be his father.
We found a large hole contained 26 statues buried during the Roman period, maybe it was buried by the Egyptian priests to keep them save away from the Roman Emperors.
6. The Hypostyle Hall:
It contains 23 chambers, 27 small chapels and 32 papyrus columns. On the southeastern corner, there are two small rectangular chapels for Mut and Khonso.
7. The Chamber of Divining:
There are low steps leads to a room with 8 columns. It was known as the 1st Antechamber of the divine king and it was served as a bark shrine but it was converted to a chapel for Roman cult.
There is a Roman Altar stands between the columns and it’s dedicated to Emperor Costantine.
8. The 2nd Antechamber:
It contains 4 pillars and it’s known as Offering Vestibule.
9. The Birth Room:
Turning to the Left, there is a Birth Room and it contains 3 clustered columns. Its walls are carved with scenes of the birth of Amenhotep III as a divine son of Amon-Re by queen Mutmwiya.
On the eastern wall, there are small chapels and 4 statues of different gods.
10. The Bark Shrine of Amon-Re:
It lies behind the vestibule and 2nd antechamber, so it was known as the 3rd antechamber.
In the Middle, there is a stone platform carried 4 pillars for the sacred bark of Amon-Re coming from Karnak during the Opet Festival.
There is a small room above the doorway, its large enough to accommodate a man. Some scholars believed that a priest acted as a voice of Amon and other suggested that it was a place to store some ceremonial objects.
11. Transverse Hall:
It lies to the south of the bark shrine. It’s the only way to the Holy of the Holies.
It’s a rectangular hall with 12 columns. It was served as a room for the statue of Amon and it opens to a shrine divided into 3 shrines, the Middle is the largest one with 4 pillars. This is the most sacred part of the temple.