Egypt, Part 4: Karnak Temple Complex
The largest temple complex in Egypt, Karnak, was built for many centuries. Today it is preserved only a ruin, but it is astonishing that a number of buildings remain to this day, very well preserved. There are three groups of buildings: The first is the temple of Amon - Ra, is a temple dedicated to him. Then the temple of the goddess Mut, the wife of Amun - Ra and third are buildings on the Theban god Month (inaccessible to the public). Our guide Jožko told us that Ramesses II. reigned for 67 years. We found out that the statues with crossed hands are already dead pharaohs, the statue, which is his right leg in front, featured a live person.
Alley of ram sphinxes
To the temple at Karnak enter by avenue of sphinxes. When you walk the path to a huge first pylon, you count them 40. Pylon is actually a huge tower object that has the shape of a pyramid on the high cut long rectangular plan. Always it was built on the sides of the entrance portal of the Egyptian temple, where two pylons are the main facade. This avenue of sphinxes ship arrived Amon - Ra. Although the first pylon was never complete, reaches epic proportions.
Great court hasn’t its name just by change. It measures 8000 square meters! It is larger than any other temple courtyard in Egypt. On such a vast area there is a chapel of Seti II., Taharakov pillared hall, pillared ram sphinxes and colonnades. The large courtyard entrance leads into the temple of Ramesses III. The facade of the temple is built in the shape of a pylon with a relief of the king, who raised hands clotting enemies of Egypt.
A large columned hall
Probably the most amazing of all Karnak is the Great columned hall! You would count here 134 columns on an area of 102 x 53 m! The atmosphere that emanates from this place is hard to describe. You browse a huge stone forest, towering high above your head, and you are not able to perceive all the carvings that adorn the columns over their entire surface. It's a wonderful theater. The game of light and shade in the unreal is directly engravings.
Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut
In all Egypt there are only 3 obelisks, in Karnak are two. Height is a 19,5 m and weighs 143 tons. The obelisk is a symbol of the sun God. On the sides of the obelisk is the account of the life of Pharaoh. Guide us to describe how to actually create such an obelisk. He chose the huge stone, to which the plan drew obelisk. Workers put plants on it, which poured, and tore the stone. Built a road up the hill and drifted obelisk until it shifted to the end of the road where the gap was actually created and easily threw him to stand.
In front of fifth pylon Queen Hatshepsut erected two obelisks! Today, it is standing erect just one of them. The second is located near the sacred lake. On it is carved said: "If anyone asks why I carved this work is to honour the divine father of Amon - Rea."
It is interesting that in the area has preserved the sacred lake. It's actually a water tank, which has dimensions of about 200 x 117 m Spiritual served for many purposes. It was a place for their ritual cleansing, as well as venue ceremonial procession on the boats, which worshiped gods, or as a pond where floated the sacred geese of Amun. The pond was located near the homes of priests, warehouses, stables, and facilities for the preparation of the victim.
Also not overlooked is the huge granite statue of scarab - which means happiness, located next to the lake. The guide told us that if one circles the 3 times around the statue, get a good husband and he circles the 5 - times, gets the money. Of course, we tried it and did you see German tourists to look at us. It looked as crazies were running around sculptures. They probably did not have the same interpretation. They would also run around.
And rest again
After the wonderful tour we boarded our bus and drove back to Hurghada. On the way stop was still a new project in Sahl Hasheesh el, where the construction of a new hotel complex. If you want to know anything about Sharm El Sheikh, or read about our experiences in the boat cruise along the Red Sea, make sure to read the last part of our series on Egypt, which comes just in a week.
Text a photo: Karin Hörmannová
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