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The Temple of Luxor

Many festivals were celebrated in Thebes. The Temple of Luxor was the center of the most important one, the festival of Opet. Built largely by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, it appears that the temple's purpose was for a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival.
The festival itself was to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with the divine office.

During the 18th Dynasty the festival lasted eleven days, but had grown to twenty-seven days by the reign of Ramesses III in the 20th Dynasty. The procession of images of the current royal family began at Karnak and ended at the temple of Luxor.

By the late 18th Dynasty the journey was being made by barge, on the Nile River. Each god or goddess was carried in a separate barge that was towed by smaller boats.
Once at the temple, the king and his priests entered the back chambers.
There, the king and his ka (the divine essence of each king, created at his birth) were merged, the king being transformed into a divine being.

The temple of Luxor used to be connected to the Karnak Temple via a long stone processional street called a dromos. The dromos was built by Nectanebo I, and originally was lined on either side by sphinxes. In front of the Luxor temple, the dromos is well preserved, and on the way to the entrance one passes by a Roman chapel of burnt brick dedicated to the god Serapis, which was built during the rule of Hadrian. There is a path that leads to the Nile side of the Temple where one enters the complex.

The Temple of Luxor has a great pylon with carved episodes from the Battle of Kadesh when Ramses defeated the Hittites. There is the one red granite obelisk (a twin one is now at the Place de la Concorde in Paris


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