Avenue of Sphinxes

Luxor is home to a number of historical attractions, including the Avenue of Sphinxes. Luxor, in addition to being a major centre for Nile River cruises; is home to a number of well-known historic attractions; and as a result, it is included in many Egypt trip packages.

Any person planning to visit Luxor in Egypt is likely already aware that it is the name of a city on the Nile River’s banks. It is, however; the name of a city that is home to a large historic site. Indeed, the city is home to a number of fascinating sites and is widely regarded as one of the best places to visit in the country due to its strong ties to the past.

Luxor, interestingly enough, was originally Egypt’s religious capital. This was at the height of the Pharaonic period, when the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom were also recognized. However, it was not known as Luxor back then; instead, it was known as Thebes, and it was located on the western bank of the Nile.

The East And West Banks

The Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are located on the Nile’s western bank, and the area is now recognized as the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The eastern shore offers no shortage of historical landmarks; including the Luxor Temple and the Luxor Museum.

Our Nile River cruises are one of the greatest ways to see and explore many of Egypt’s most important ancient sites, however the Avenue of the Sphinxes is not included in all of our cruise programmers. If you’d want to visit this place but it’s not on your desired itinerary; please let us know when you make your reservation.

Brief History

There are other sights in the vicinity, but the Avenue of the Sphinxes is without a doubt one of the “must-see” attractions. This is part of the massive Karnak Temple complex, which stretches along the river’s eastern bank. Pharaoh Sesostris I began the complex during the “Middle Kingdom” period, but it was regularly developed all the way through the Ptolemaic period; which was the last of the Pharaonic era.

The first phases of the Avenue of Sphinxes, which included the construction of seven chapels, began during Queen Hatshepsut‘s reign. Sadly, none of the chapels are still standing today. Pharaoh Nectanebo I chose to enlarge the original complex some years later, and built a 2.7-kilometer “pathway” lined on both sides by hundreds of stone sphinxes. Some of the sphinxes have ram’s heads instead of the conventional human head, which is a unique trait.

While one might expect that a big and important landmark like the Avenue of the Sphinxes would be visible at all times; it was instead engulfed and concealed by Luxor’s unrelenting urban growth. Thankfully, in late 2011, the Egyptian government stated that the Avenue of Sphinxes had been restored and that it would be reopened to the public in an official ceremony.

Visiting The Avenue of Sphinxes Today