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The outskirts of Karnak

Ah, Karnak. It is arguably the grandest and most eloquent of ancient Egyptian monuments. It is the largest temple complex in the world dedicated to a single god, Amun the Hidden One. For centuries, and maybe even thousands of years, the pharaohs worshipped here, built magnificent structures, tore down others to replace them with their own, and usurped statues and buildings of their predecessors that they liked by just erasing those names from the elegantly carved cartouches and replacing them with their own. It is a truly overwhelming but fabulous jumble, a place to marvel at the amazing ancient architecture of Egypt steeped in history and mystery.

In most tours, visitors get only an hour or two to view and appreciate the many delights Karnak has to offer, and so by necessity these tours focus on the main axis of the temple. But there is so much more to see and discover in Karnak, you wouldn’t believe just how much. We once wandered there for almost seven hours and still did not see everything! But don’t worry, we won’t make you do that much on our tour! ?

On this tour, we leave the main axis of this huge temple behind, and focus on the outer areas of this amazing ruin. There are chapels galore, whole temples, a finely carved botanical garden, and much more to see here. Unless you have other, specific wishes, we will focus on the chapel of the Divine Adoratrices of Amun, the chapel of Ptah and Sekhmet, the Temple of Chonsu and/or the Open-Air Museum where whole buildings recovered from the fillings of the pylons (the huge gates that lead you to each new section of the temple) have been reconstructed block by block – fantastically preserved exactly because of their being torn down and hidden in these pylons for millennia. We will walk through some amazing places to get to these treasures, and you will gain a true appreciation of the majesty that is Karnak Temple…

Price: 45 euros per person

Includes: set-up, transport, explanation, tickets and (a break for) drinks at the Sacred Lake of Karnak


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