The Karnak Temple in Luxor is the world’s largest temple complex, with so many components and sizes that each portion of the temple was erected by a different King from the new Egyptian Kingdom.
The oldest part of the temple dates from the time of King Mentohotep NebhepetRa, the founder of the middle ancient Egyptian kingdom. He was the 9th king of the dynasty to which he belonged, but he is considered the founder of a kingdom because he reunited Egypt’s two lands into one country (2061 BC – 2010 BC).
Even Alexander the Great and his brother paid close attention to the Karnak temples, sharing building materials and rebuilding others. The temple was formerly connected to the Nile by the Sphinxes Avenue, which still survives in part. When talking about Karnak, it’s worth describing the contents of an ancient Egyptian temple because tourists will see numerous temples inside and this will help you distinguish each temple in the complex.
The ancient Egyptian temple consists of:
- An open courtyard (the biggest part of the temple)
- the first pylon (consists of two separate parts)
- Colonade (a courtyard surrounded by columns)
- the second pylon (also consists of two parts)
- the hypostyle hall (a hall with many columns. Ceiled in most temples)
- the third pylon (two parts)
- the appearance hall (where God believed to appear)
- the sanctuary (the holy of the holies)
The great temple of Amun, which is readily accessible from the complex’s main entrance, is the largest and most easily recognizable temple in the Karnak complex. The rulers of the new kingdom constructed the temple, including Ramses II, Seti I, Tutankhamun, and even Queen Hatshepsut, who erected two massive obelisks to the enormous Amun temple at Karnak.
Monarch Thotmouses III, who was a magnificent king with a fantastic sense of humor and a particular relationship with the Egyptian people, allowed the ordinary people to see the rear of the sanctuary by building the Akh Meno hall of festivities.
The sacred pool was dug by the same monarch Thotmouses III to assist people in cleansing before conducting the daily prayer.
Tip: The sandstone was used to construct all of the ancient Egyptian great temples, including those built by the Greeks, with the exception of the modern-looking temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the temple of King Seti at Abydos, which were built of Limestone. Inside each temple, there may be some elements made of various materials and stones, such as Granite stone.