WONDERFUL MIDDLE EAST ASIA
Pintu timur untuk masuk ke Karnak
Temple of Karnak, which is an absolutely huge complex of temples, columns, statues, obelisks, etc., built and added onto by the pharaohs for over 2,000 years. The show was very informative, giving a feel for the history of Egypt.
The Karnack ruins by day. There is so much there, it is impossible to take it all in. The site takes up 100 acres. Some of the columns are 75 feet high and 35 feet in circumference. Two obelisks (built during the reign of Hatshepsut, are 98 feet high, each carved out of a single piece of granite weighing 320 tons, and are merely stood upright, with nothing fastening or supporting them. The hieroglyphics on one of the walls of the temple tells of one of the pharaohs coming to Israel and destroying the Jewish temple (in about 950 BC).
We drove over to the west side of Luxor in the morning, across the Nile. We passed through much farm country, which was very picturesque. Farmers here do not as yet use chemicals. In fact, most of them still farm as in ancient times, using wood plows pulled by oxen. The soil is dark and fertile, receiving its moisture from the Nile.
A majority of the people dress in traditional ways, wearing robes, the men wearing turbans, and many of the women covering their heads ó a few also covering their faces. Many people walk, some ride bikes or mule carts, a few drive. Even in the urban areas, streets are crowded with walkers, bicycles and carts, and with cars and busses weaving in and out.
Chapels to Mut and Amun
The vendors and sellers of tourist paraphernalia in Egypt (and Israel too) are another story. They crowd around you, holding their wares in front of you, offering their price, and then lowering it when you do not respond. If you go into a store just to look around, store clerks surround you wherever you go, trying to explain what you are looking at. Many of the rest rooms have someone standing in the doorway handing out toilet paper and requesting payment. At the sites, "friendly" people come up to you and try to show you the best place to take a photo, and then ask for money for their "service." Some vendors "give" you their wares for free, and then ask for something "for themselves." When you give them nothing or too little, they take back their gift. There are many other tricks which are also used.
Statue of Ramses II
The temple of Karnak was known as Ipet-isut (Most select of places) and was dedicated to the Theben triad of Amen, Mut and Khonsu. It is actually a complex of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples. This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. Karnak is the biggest temple complex in the world, covering an area of 100 hectares. The area of the sacred enclosure of Amen alone is 61 acres and would hold ten average European cathedrals. The great temple at the heart of Karnak is so big, St Peterís, Milan and Notre Dame Cathedrals could be lost within its walls. It is the mother of all religious buildings, the largest ever made as well as a place of pilgrimage for nearly 4,000 years.
Kiosk of the Taharka
The forecourt is now inside the entrance pylon but would have originally been outside the main temple In the centre are the remains of the giant Kiosk of the Nubian pharaoh, Taharka.
Temple of Seti II
The temples are built along two axes (east-west and north-south) with the original Middle Kingdom shrines built on a mound in the centre of what is now called the Temple of Amen.
On the west side is the entrance to the temple used by visitors which was once a quay built by Rarneses 11 to give access via a canal to the river Nile.
Holding the statue of Rameses II
An avenue of ram-headed sphinxes leads the visitor towards the massive front of the first pylon, each one holding a statue of the king, Rameses II, in its paws.
Through the entrance of the second pylon is the famous hypostyle hall 54,000 square feet with its 134 columns is still the largest room of any religious building in the world.
Looking out through the Eastern Gate, where the avenue of sphinxes lead to the Luxor temple
Beyond this gate and outside the main temple walls, the scant remains of Arnenhotep IVís (Akhenaten) Karnak temple buildings were discovered.
Ruins of the Eastern Pylon in background
Open Air Museum which houses various blocks and reconstructed shrines found in other parts of Karnak.
Older part of the temple, built in early Dynasty XVIII
Sacred lake, tampak pula 2 obelisk
On the other side of the Temple of Amen, to the south, the visitor comes to the Sacred Lake. The area in the foreground was originally a fowl yard and the domesticated birds belonging to Amen were driven from here through a stone tunnel into the lake each day. Pylons seven, eight, nine and ten run on a north-south axis to the main temple, called the transverse axis. When the court before the seventh pylon was excavated, a treasure store of 751 stone statues and stelae were found, along with over 17,000 bronzes which now form a large portion of the Cairo Museum collections.
Hieroglyphs facing left, read left to right
Sites such as Karnak, Dendera and Kom Ombo would most likely fall under the category of ďgodís mansionĒ. While the god may certainly have been worshiped in these temples, it was also his symbolic home, if not considered his physical residence, and the functions of the temple were as much to serve his or her symbolic physical needs as they were for the godís worship.
GOD IS THE LORD WHO DOES MIRACLES
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