Luxor is located 675 km south of Cairo, in the province of Qena. It is governed by special statue giving it more autonomy than any other city in Egypt. It is considered one of the most important destinations for visitors who are interested in ancient Egyptian history. Since, the largest and best preserved monuments and temples are located in Luxor, it is considered the largest open air museum of the whole world. Luxor was the ancient capital of Thebes and it was given its name Luxor by the Arab travelers which means “the palaces” due to the several ruins of monuments scattered all through the city. Luxor continues to be a major tourist destination with thousand of international travelers arrive each year to see the monuments. Thus tourism in Luxor is a major economic activity in town. The East bank of Luxor contains the Luxor and Karnak temples which are connected together by a processional street which was lined by Sphinxes. On the West Bank of Luxor lies the valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens which was the Necropolis of Thebes. There you can find highly preserved tombs with all the colorful designs and encryptions on the wall. The tomb of boy king Tut Ankh Amun was discovered and its items discovered in it forms a basic section of the Egyptian museum worth of seeing.
History of Luxor
Luxor is on the east bank of the Nile River, which is only about 500 meters wide at this point. The renowned Greek Philosopher, Homer, called it the city of a hundred gates because of its buildings and large gates. The city grew over the years, and the Arabs, impressed by its beautiful palaces and huge edifices, re-named it 'Luxor': City of Palaces.
The city of Luxor was formerly the location of the 4000 year old city Thebes (that is the name in Greek though in Egypt it was called Weset). Thebes was the capital city of Egypt during two of its flourishing periods, the Middle and the New Kingdom. As it was becoming a cultural and religious centre, the city became the place of monumental buildings.
Rising to political power only in the middle of the second millennium before Christ, Thebes became the synonym of extravagant wealth, probably collected by the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom in their expeditions to the south in the vast land of Kush in the area of today's northern Sudan, and to the north in Canaan, Phoenicia, and Syria.
After Ramses III victory over the Sea Peoples, a very slow decay characterized Thebes in times of division of Egypt; even then, despite its limited political power, Thebes had an edge over all the rest: an immense past and a legendary, radiant name that only Babylon could claim to match.
Assurbanipal, King of Assyria, was the first and only to attack and destroy Thebes. He then acted friendly to Egypt and kicked out the Kushite Taharqa, who was put on the throne of Egypt by the priesthood of Thebes. Assurbanipal installed Psammetichus, the Libyan prince, who was his ally, at the throne of Egypt. Although Thebes was ruined, its importance remained. The ruins are a main attraction for tourists to the city today. The town of Luxor together with other Theban sites, Karnak,