In the valleys of the Theban mountains on the west bank at Luxor, is the most interesting of all the dead Egyptian cities. In the valleys of the kings and queens are many beautiful tombs, including that of Tutankhamun. Other attractions are the great funerary temple of Ramses II, Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the artists and the Colossi of Memnon.
The west bank of Luxor was the ancient necropolis of Thebes. After the period of the pyramids, the Egyptians proceeded to bury in tombs in this vast necropolis. The Egyptians saw the west bank of the Nile as the dead, because here the sun goes down. By this they had to bury the idea every day at sunrise in the east to be reborn. The area is therefore mentioned in many ancient texts as 'the beautiful west'. Perhaps the pharaohs saw the jagged hills of the mountains as natural pyramids. In the Valley of the Kings (El-Biban Moeloek) are 65 tombs, of which 25 are of pharaohs. Other graves belong to high court officials. All the tombs are from the New Kingdom (18th and 20th Dynasty). Almost every grave was already during the 21th Dynasty looted. The pharaohs of this period, the king mummies elsewhere in safety. Among the most impressive tombs include the tomb of Ramses VI (No. 9), Sethi I (No. 17) and Thutmose III (No. 34).The most famous tomb is of course that of Tutankhamen.
A visit to the tombs is the highlight of a stay in Luxor. For a tomb is usually a pratt ground with a description. In the tombs you descend a few meters below the ground. The mysterious wall and ceiling paintings, reliefs and porticoes are breathtaking. The colorful illustrations in some cave, particularly where the ancient Egyptian concept of life after death is shown, are often still in mint condition. In some tombs is still a stone sarcophagus, but the mummies from the tombs was transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Occasionally there is a burial chamber closed to the public when archaeological research was going on.
The tomb of Ramses VI
This tomb is 104 meters long over the tomb of Tutankhamun. It was rediscovered by scholars of Napoleon. Very comprehensive and therefore very rare images from the Port Book back of the grave to see performances from the “Book of the Dead”. In the large tomb is next to the remains of the coffin made a detailed print of the birth of the Sun.
The tomb of Sethi I
This tomb is the most complex of the valley. You must pass through a large number of staircases and long corridors to reach the burial chamber. The stairs and corridors in the back of the tomb depict the “open mouth”, a ceremony in which the soul could return the mummy. In this tomb is the tomb decorated with constellations
The tomb of Amenophis
At the tomb of Amenophis II is easy to see how it is attempted to prevent grave robbery. Both the wooden bridge over a deep pit and the grave did not prevent apparent that the tomb has been looted. Through a bend in the hallway near the tomb seem to get into the large burial chamber with the empty granite sarcophagus. The blue vault is supported by six pillars, and adorned with yellow stars.
The tomb of Tutankhamun
Due to the spectacular discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun's tomb is a tourist attraction in the valley of kings. On November 28, 1922 have Carter, Lord Carnavon, his daughter Lady Evelyn and Arthur Callender's grave for the first time entering. There were unlike the other tombs of Egyptian pharaohs has not been grave robbers in the tomb. The small tomb is not particularly impressive, and gives the impression of a hastily planned and some indifferent funeral. The decoration from the tomb is very simple compared to the other tombs in the valley. The extraordinary wealth to property, however, Carter in the tomb of the pharaoh, found insignificant child, to give an idea of the incredible amount of valuables that must be passed to a powerful pharaohs Seti I and Ramesses II. Tutankhamun ruled from 1333 to 1324 BC. On his ninth he was crowned pharaoh, and at 18 years of age, he suddenly died. The tomb was originally not for him, but for his advisor Ay. In the burial chamber opens a coffin in which Tutankhamun's mummy was. The gold boxes to the sarcophagus are now in the museum in Cairo, and filled the room to the ceiling. Instead of the usual wooden bars the room was originally separated by a wall, where two giant black images of the dead pharaoh watched.
The Valley of the Kings
In a side valley of the Valley of the Kings is the “Place of Beauty” with the tombs of the queens, princes and princesses. Most graves are at the beginning of the last century rediscovered. Here, discovered in 1904, including the tomb of Nefertari, wife of Ramses II, the tomb of Queen Titi, the tomb of Amenherchopsjef, the son of Ramses III. All the 80 tombs that were found here are much simpler than the tombs of kings. Some are in very poor condition. They date for the most part the Ramessidische period.
Temple of Hatjepsut
The terraced Temple of Hatshepsut in the Valley of Deir el-Bahari is one of the most remarkable monuments of ancient Egypt. The temple is beautifully situated on a steep cliff on the eastern Theban mountain, which is partly carved. It was built here by the famous pharaoh queen in honor of the goddess Hathor. For the most holy, that is carved into the rock, there are three huge terraces. The lowest terrace was formerly court yard with flowering plants and trees. The walls of the temple are decorated with carvings of various scenes.
Unfortunately, after Hatshepsut's death quite a few vandals visited her temple. The worst devastation from sheer envy by Thutmose III, Hatshepsut's nephew and successor, made. 20 years since he had waited on his accession, he is covered or destroyed immediately after his aunt's death over her name and likeness. Later were destroyed the first Christians who used the temple as a convent, all pagan images. The slopes of Deirel-Bahari are a large number of tombs from the Middle Kingdom. A few years ago at the temple a number of tourists were slain in a terrorist attack.
Deir el-Medina - Valley of the artists - was founded by Tuthmosis I (1504 - 1492 BC). Everyone who lived here during the construction of the royal tombs and mortuary temples was involved. The ruins of the village are not accessible, but if you walk around you still get a good impression of the houses that were lived. The houses are found thousands of ostraca (fragments of) and papyrus texts. Despite looting nineteenth century, these discoveries have yielded a wealth of material about daily life in ancient Egypt. The tombs of the inhabitants of Deir el-Medina are located in the western hillside.
The tomb of the Sennedjem
The deep burial small room has beautiful wall and vault paintings, including family scenes and the embalming of the dead. You see the mummy of Anubis will bend.
Ramesseum - the mortuary temple of Ramesses I
The great funerary temple of Ramses II is a huge temple ruins with 270 meters length. The entrance of the temple is on the north side. On the heavily damaged pylons are portraits of the campaigns of the powerful pharaoh against the Hittites and the Syrians. In the first courtyard is a row of Ramses Images headless. Besides it is broken granite statue of the pharaoh. That was originally 18 meters high statue is the largest image of Egypt and King weighs over one thousand tons. South of the temple have been more deaths temples, including that of Merneptah and Tuthmosis IV.
Medinet Habu - the mortuary temple of Ramses III
This impressive mortuary temple has a jetty at the main entrance, a reminder that the current road was once a canal. Remarkably is the large gate in the form of an Assyrian fortress. Near the entrance is a small funerary chapel in the 25th dynasty. The vault of the sanctuary is the oldest brick vault in Egypt. Right on the square for the Amon temple the 18th Dynasty. The first pylon of the Temple of Ramses III itself allows the underside to see a list of countries that had conquered the mighty Pharaoh. Above you see how the pharaoh under the watchful eye of Amon short shrift to his enemies. At the back of the pylon see how prisoners along a partying crowd are managed. A gruesome detail is the hope cut off the tongues of the wretched vanquished. The second pylon is also a horror scene. Here you can find the severed hands and genitals of the prisoners see. The northeastern wall of the Temple, pictures of battles against the Libyans, Asians and the “Sea Peoples” see. The image of the battle against the “Sea Peoples” is very special.
Colossi of Memnon
Along the road from Medinet Habu to the ferry-seated colossi of Memnon, two images from 16 meters high, lonely on their throne at the edge of fields. Originally they guarded the mortuary temple of Amenophis III (1391-1353), but this building, perhaps the biggest temple on the west bank, during an earthquake in 27 years destroyed. Only the large consecration of the temple is still standing and located a few hundred yards toward the hills. The Greeks have the images of their current name. They saw the most distant of the image that the Trojan hero Memnon, during the siege of Troy by Achilles slain would be. The images have nothing to do with Memnon, but his images of the deified pharaoh Amenophis III.
The best time to visit the sights on the west bank is in the early morning. Outside the winter months talking around noon because extremely hot and shady spots are hardly present among the attractions. The cheapest way to get from the East to the West Bank is to travel with the tourist ferry. The private boats departing from the Etap Hotel and the Old Winter Palace will often ridiculously high prices.
After leaving the ferry on the west bank, you should decide which graves you want to visit. The admission tickets must be all bought at the box office on the west bank (past the Colossi of Memnon). Each ticket gives access to three tombs. The bridge over the Nile is located 7 km south of Luxor.