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Ancient Thebes

Ancient Thebes
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Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis offers a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height.
The site includes the two great temples the Valley of the Kings (Luxor) and the Valley of the Queens (Karnak).

Thebes was the capital of Egypt during part of the Eleventh Dynasty (Middle Kingdom), and most of the Eighteenth Dynasty (New Kingdom). It is located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the river Nile.


Clyde (Malta):
I visited the WHS in April 2010. It is the cradle of ancient egyptian civilization and includes the temples of Karnak and Luxor and the Valley of the Kings with Tutankhamen's tomb. I dreamt of visiting this WHS since I was child and would visit again in a heartbeat! Incredible!
Date posted: September 2012
Paula Fonseca (Brazil):
Ancient Thebes, now named Luxor is everythig the books told us about Ancient Egypt. The Kings and Queens have their faces showed to you and you recognize all them. There, the Gods are expecting us at every corner you turn around. When you visit the tombs, temples, monuments there's a feeling you are visiting someplace marvellous and misterious and at the same time, that seems like your parents home.
Date posted: June 2011
John Booth (New Zealand):
The temples of Luxor and Karnak on the west bank and the Temple of Hatshepsut on the east bank of the Nile are simply amazing for the amount of work and effort that was expended creating them. Today, even with cranes and other machinery it would be difficult, but 5000 years ago it was all done by human power. And then followed all the work of painstakingly carving the designs and hyroglyphs. The effort surely dwarfs any construction project of the modern era.
Date posted: October 2010
stewart ayu (canada):
A visit to the Valley of the Kings and Queens is remarkable. The tombs were mesmerizing spectacles. The chambers might have once be filled with artifacts like the one of Tutankhamon fame. The hieroglyphics were stunning . some filled entire chambers. Some told stories on the ceilings or pillars. It was unlike anything anywhere. This is not a place that one can describe in words. It was very complex and otherworldly. I was much more impressed with the tombs than the great architectural achievements. Many of the artifacts found in the tombs is on display at the incomparable Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Date posted: June 2009
Ben Pastore (USA):
Once the religious center of ancient Egypt, the Temple of Karnak was as impressive as they come. And while repeated exposure to ancient sites tends to leave one jaded to a place's importance, Luxor and its surrounds still made for a wonderful place to wander about and image the glory of the days of the Pharoahs
Date posted: April 2006
Christer Sundberg (Sweden):
You can cruise up and down the Nile in many ways. As a matter of fact it is quite an industry these days and I heard that over 600 vessels have a permit to operate on the river. Have I known better in advance, I would rather have embarked on a felucca for a couple of days even though I must admit that the luxury of the Mövenpick Nile Cruiser was quite enjoyable after all...

Working our way up the river, passing and visiting the temples of Edfu and Kom Obo my cruiser finally reached Luxor where I had decided to stay for a couple of days. I started with a visit to the valley of the Queens, which is less visited than the Kings and a better place to study the hieroglyphs and carvings in the ancient tombs. The graves of the valley of the Kings are of slightly larger proportions and despite the hordes of tourists it is quite exciting to enter the tomb of Ramses II and the other, since long gone, royalties of Egypt. I recommend you to skip Tutankhamen’s grave. It is very small and really nothing to see. The exhibition in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo on the other hand, is the place to go in this case.

The temple of Luxor and Karnak is an absolute must. If Luxor is impressing, Karnak is enormous and top of the pops when it comes to Egyptian temples and I read somewhere that over 80.000 people where working on the temple site in it’s heydays.

If you don’t want to do the full-fledged tour of Egypt, Luxor is the place to stay for a couple of days and indulge yourself in the ancient life of the pharaohs. I promise you it will be much rewarding.
Date posted: February 2006
Klaus Freisinger (Austria):
It´s hard to believe that this is the first review for Thebes, since it´s not only one of the Egypt´s, but also one of the world´s greatest archaeological sites and definitely worth a journey. Most people will combine visiting Thebes with a cruise on the Nile, and this is highly recommended - easily beats any Mediterranean or Caribbean cruise! Thebes (as the Greeks called it - it was Weset in ancient Egyptian) is the capital of Upper Egypt and was the country´s centre throughout the Middle and New Kingdoms. It was much larger in Antiquity than it is today, but seeing everything in the area still takes up a lot of time (worth it). On the east bank of the Nile, the Luxor Temple is great, but can´t be beaten by the Temple of Karnak connected to it by an avenue of sphinges, truly a wonder of the world with its huge columns and the impressive hieroglyphs. They are both in the city of Luxor, which offers many conveniences for visitors, but you have to cross the Nile to the west bank to see even more stunning attractions: the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Memnon Colossi, and the Temple of Hatshepsut, all located in a beautiful desert landscape. The tombs of the pharaohs can be visited (at least some of them), and this is something nobody should miss - truly a fascinating experience.
Date posted: June 2005

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Site info

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis
Country: Egypt
Inscribed: 1979
Cultural Heritage
Criteria:  (1) (3) (6)
Category: Archaeological site, Egyptian

Site history:
1979 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription

Site links

Official website:
»Valley of the Nobles
»Valley of the Queens
»Valley of the Kings

In the news:
» Egypt says 90 percent chance of hidden rooms in Tut tomb (01-12-2015).
» Egypt opens three ancient tombs in Luxor for the first time in a bid to lure tourists (07-11-2015).
» 'Suicide attack' at Egypt Karnak temple site in Luxor (10-06-2015).
» Italian-Spanish archeologists to launch dig into Luxor tomb (30-09-2014).
» Remains of 'End of the World' Epidemic Found in Ancient Egypt (23-06-2014).
» Mysterious Buried Artifacts Discovered in Valley of the Kings (03-05-2014).
» "New" Luxor mummy is 3,600 years old (15-02-2014).
» Chinese Tourist Damages 3000-Year-Old Temple in Luxor (26-05-2013).
» Famous Vizier's tomb found at Luxor (21-02-2013).
» Avenue of sphinxes in Luxor to open to public in March (25-12-2011).
» 1 / 2 Gallery This week, during their routine excavation work, the French-Egyptian archaeological team working at the Karnak Temple in Luxor uncovered two major monuments. (05-07-2011).
» Colossal statue of Thoth discovered at temple of Amenhotep III in Luxor (19-05-2010).
» Egypt to start restoration of tomb Tutankhamen (14-11-2009).

Related links:
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Related Forum posts:
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Getting there

This WHS has 3 location(s).


Restored by anastylosis .
Dynastic Burial Places . Granaries . Historical zoos . Hypostyle . Necropolises . Obelisk . Sphinx .
Terrorist Attacks .
Nile . Spice Route .
Assyrian Empire . Buried treasures . Contains significant structures from the 20th Century . Early Archaeology . Historical Food Remains . Hittites . Oldest Buildings . Oldest continuously inhabited cities . Specified on Herodotus' Oikumene . Strikes .
Human Activity
Astronomy and Astrology . Board Games . Masks . Mummies . University of Chicago Oriental Institute . Writing systems .
Individual People
Giovanni Belzoni . John D Rockefeller Jr . King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Rama V) . Prince Pückler . Queens and Empresses . Sir William Matthews Flinders Petrie .
Religion and Belief
Goddesses . Mosque .
Built in the 2nd Millennium BC .
Excavated by American Universities . Former Largest Cities . History of the World in 100 objects . Hot Air Balloon rides . In the British museum . In the Istanbul museum . James Bond in books . James Bond in Movies . Located in a Former Capital . Location for a classic movie . Opera . Preservation assisted by Getty Trust . Sound and Light Show . Subterranean Cultural Sites .
WHS on Other Lists
World Monuments Watch (past) .
World Heritage Process
WHC locations .

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