Tourism Ireland

Top 5: Ruins to See in Ancient Egypt

by Akhil Kalepu

Mar 8, 2017

Abu Simbel, Nubia, Egypt © Broodwolf | Dreamstime

Top 5 / Africa

Of all the great empires of history, few are as intriguing as Ancient Egypt. Of the many ruins left behind, here are five favorites.

 

Temple of Hatshepsut, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt © Icon72 | Dreamstime 17805395

© Icon72 | Dreamstime

 

Temple of Hatshepsut

Dedicated to the sun god Amun, this historic site is a funeral shrine to Hatshepsut, Egypt’s second female pharaoh. The architecture is unique, made of three levels that invoke the classical architectural traditions of Europe.

 

Precinct of Amun-Ra, Karnak Temple Complex, Egypt © Witr | Dreamstime 25703540

© Witr | Dreamstime

 

Karnak

This open-air museum is the second-largest religious site in the world (after Angkor Wat) and the second-most visited historical site in Egypt. It’s also one of the most diverse ruins to see, built over the reigns of 30 pharaohs, showing a variety of ancient Egyptian deities.

 

Horus, Temple of Edfu, Egypt © Shariff Che\' Lah | Dreamstime 5005204

Horus, Temple of Edfu, Egypt © Shariff Che’ Lah | Dreamstime

 

Temple of Edfu

Edfu is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. For centuries, it was hidden underneath sand and silt before archeologists unearthed a massive complex dedicated to the Falcon God Horus.

 

The Felstempel in Abu Simbel, Egypt © Ginasanders | Dreamstime 14044276

© Ginasanders | Dreamstime

 

Abu Simbel

Two rock temples comprise Abu Simbel, marked by its iconic rock reliefs and carefully engineered solar alignment. Today, the site hosts two Sun Festivals, two days of the year where rays of light penetrate the complex to illuminate the sculptures on the back wall.

 

The Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Khufu © Vitalyedush | Dreamstime

© Vitalyedush | Dreamstime

 

Great Pyramid of Giza

The most famous of the ruins is also one of the oldest Wonders of the Ancient World, the only one still standing. For 3,800 years, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world at 481 feet.

 

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