We originally planned to visit Luxor Temple only after we checked out from the cruise. But in the morning when we went to Edfu temple, Hassan told us that the boat would reach Luxor late afternoon and it would dock there. Knowing this and we actually had nothing planned we asked Hassan if he was free and could guide us to see Luxor Temple. Hassan happened to be in Luxor also that afternoon and free as his next batch of guest were due to arrive only the next day. So we agreed that he would meet us at 4pm when the boat docks in Luxor.
Luxor Temple was around 10 minutes by car from where the boat docked and the temple was next door from Winter Pavillon where we were going to stay for 2 nights after we checked out from the cruise.
Luxor Temple, along with the temple complex of Karnak, is the most famous temple complexes around Luxor and they are both located on the East Bank of the Nile.
The temple was built by Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC) but completed by Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) and then added to by Rameses II (1279-13 BC). Toward the rear is a granite shrine dedicated to Alexander the Great (332-305 BC).
Hassan pointed to us the statue of Ramesses II with the small statue of Nefertari standing next to his leg. We then learned that Nefertari was Known as “Lady of Grace,” “Lady of All Lands,” “Wife of the Strong Bull,” “Great of Praises” and many other nicknames, Queen Nefertari was one of the most famous Egyptian queens and an iconic women of Ancient Egypt.
Ramesses II, like other kings of Egypt, had a large harem of wives. However, at any time only one wife was given the honor of being his ‘chief queen.” Although he would take eight of these queens over his lifetime, Queen Nefertari was his first and most beloved.
At Abu Simbel, the pharaoh raised, next to his own colossal monument, a magnificent temple in her honor. He referred to her as Sweet of Love, Bride of God and Lady of the Two Lands, and wrote her sweet love poems. The inscriptions the pharaoh left behind reveal Queen Nefertari played an important role in his life, and the whole Egypt.
Queen Nefertari was a very intelligent lady. She could read and write hieroglyphs, which was a very rare skill at the time. Most pharaohs didn’t master hieroglyphs. Nefertari used her education and skill in her diplomatic work and she was a respected and admired Egyptian queen.