Egypt: Sphinx Alley reopened in Luxor

Status: 25.11.2021 9:04 p.m.

The historic Sphinx-Allee was opened with a ceremony in Egypt. The former processional path, built around 3400 years ago, had been extensively renovated. Hundreds of historical sculptures now line the path.

A boulevard between the temples of Karnak and Luxor in Egypt has been reopened with a solemn ceremony. The renovated Sphinx-Allee, the origins of which go back around 3400 years, is intended to showcase the country’s archaeological treasures and thus stimulate tourism.

The Sphinx Avenue, also known as the Path of the Aries or the Path of the Gods, connects the famous temples of Karnak and Luxor in Thebes, the former capital of ancient Egypt. It is believed that pilgrims took the route to visit the temples and worship their deities. The road is lined with statues of rams and sphinxes and stretches for several kilometers in Luxor. With this project, Luxor will become the largest open-air museum in the world, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.

The path, lined on both sides by around 1350 sphinxes with human heads, was used annually as a processional path in ancient Egypt for the Opet festival.

Image: EPA

Excavations lasted more than 50 years

The processional route was discovered in 1949. In the decades that followed, more and more remains were found. Reconstruction began in 2005, but has since been stopped due to the political situation and lack of money.

Mohamed Abd el-Badei, a senior Egyptian archeology official, said the oldest ruins along the avenue were six structures built by Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s only female pharaoh, and dated to 1400 BC. According to hieroglyphics on the walls of one of the temples, a festival called “Opet” was celebrated there with processions and dancers to celebrate the wealth that the annual flooding of the Nile brought to the fields. According to the records, a flotilla of sacred boats also went to the temple.

The event was the second glamorous ceremony of its kind this year. In April, the government held a procession to celebrate the transfer of some of the famous mummies from the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo to the newly built museum south of the Egyptian capital.

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