A fascinating story of human civilization that grew up by the River Nile, the ancient Egyptian civilization, is one of the most captivating and enthralling stories of history. One of the oldest civilizations known to mankind, Egypt has marvelled people over the ages.
Whether it is the rich history of its world famous pyramids or the myriad tales of the many Pharaohs that inhibited the land, Egypt continues to leave the global traveller awestruck. The 3000 year old history of this ancient civilization still attracts a lot of people and if you are looking to experience the marvels of ancient Egypt, here is a list of attractions from ancient Egypt that you must not miss.
The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt
The Pyramids of ancient Egypt stand testimony to the awesome architectural skills of the ancient Egyptians. Without any help from modern technological innovations and a full proof engineering plan, it is quite surprising to find extremely well made structures that display brilliant symmetry and have stood the test of time for more than 5000 years.
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The Pyramids formed an integral part of funerals and were built for burying members from the Egyptian royal family, particularly the kings and sometimes, the queens as well. The Pyramids of Giza fascinate travellers from all over the world and mainly consist of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Menkaura and Pyramid of Kafhre. Apart from these, the Great Sphinx which has a cat like face and carved out of a single stone would leave you mesmerized with its sheer beauty, elegance and royal nature. So, if you wish to explore these beautiful structures, it is recommended that you either opt for a walking tour or hop on to a camel or horse for a quick ride around the pyramids.
Though, the pyramids were originally chosen as funeral sites, the kings of the 18th and 20th dynasty thought otherwise. They wished to enjoy their afterlife and therefore, wanted to be buried in tombs that would carry their favourite things along with pets or other treasured items. In order to fulfil this fancy, the Valley of Kings, near Luxor was chosen as a favoured destination.
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Here, you would find mummified remains of ancient Pharaohs and Egyptian kings. The southern end of this valley was chosen for the queens and their children. If you do visit Ancient Thebes, you’ll be able to view some of the tombs. Queen Nefertari’s tomb, often considered to be the finest amongst the queens’ tombs, is open for public viewing and you must make an effort to witness this ancient Egyptian attraction.
Pharaoh Djoser’s Pyramid
Another important ancient Egyptian attraction is Pharaoh Djoser’s Pyramid which is also known as the Step Pyramid. The Pharaoh’s personal architect, Imhotep was asked to design this structure and was one of the first pyramids that were shaped in Egypt.
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Memphis, the ancient Egyptian capital had a necropolis called Saqqara and it was chosen as the preferred location for this pyramid. Tourists have been flocking to this fine architectural marvel for years and over time have become extremely significant for travellers touring Egypt.
An ancient monument, Abu Simbel, is one of the most recognized monuments from the ancient period and attracts a lot of tourists. It is actually a temple complex that was built during the reign of Ramses II. In fact, Abu Simbel has a carved structure that shows the king himself sitting on a throne with the crowns of both Upper and Lower Egypt safely placed on his head.
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However, after the construction of a dam across the Nile River this ancient Egyptian attraction faced the danger of being destroyed by floods. As a result, it was later removed from its original site to higher grounds where the Nile’s water could do no harm to Abu Simel.
Temple of Luxor
One of the most fascinating sights of ancient Egypt is the temple of Luxor. This was originally built for observing various religious rites and rituals. Even festivals were celebrated here with great fervour. Built over 4000 years ago, the temple of Luxor has seen the congregation of several religions. While it was a temple for the Greeks and Romans, it was also used as a Church later on.
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And at present, a mosque can still be seen in one of the halls of the famous Luxor temple. Pharoah Amenophis III thought of building this religious spectacle for mostly celebrating ancient Egypt’s various festivals like the festival of Opet. However, he could not complete its construction and Ramses II helped to wrap up its construction when he took over the reign. Thus, this ancient Egyptian attraction must feature on your list when you visit this charming country.
Another important ancient Egyptian site, the Karnak Temple was the main worshipping area in ancient Egypt. This temple was constructed as a home of Amun-Ra, who was considered to be the King of all Gods. Hence, it was highly significant when it came to the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and its construction spanned over a massive time period of over 1500 years.
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This extensive temple complex has numerous sanctuaries, pylons, obelisks and kiosks. The Theban Gods have earned prominence at the Karnak Temple and therefore, all the monuments have been dedicated to these ancient Egyptian Gods. And if you are visiting this ancient Egyptian attraction, do make an effort to have a look at the Great Temple of Amun which is considered to be a brilliant architectural piece.
Temple of Horus
The falcon headed Horus was a respected and popular deity belonging to the ancient Egyptian civilization. And the Temple of Horus was constructed to honour this deity. The temple complex is not only big it has also preserved some stunning masterpieces of ancient Egyptian relief and carvings. Tales related to Horus have also been depicted through these wall paintings and carvings.
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As a global traveller, if you want to experience the real sights of ancient Egypt, a trip to these places are a must. Apart from these, you can also visit the Temple of Isis, Temple of Dendera, Temple of Khnum and each one of them would surely captivate your senses.