The Luxor Temple Obelisk — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Columns and Vertical Line(s)

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Columns and Vertical Line(s).

The magnificent Luxor Temple on the east bank of the Nile River was constructed around 1400 BC. Originally, two obelisks were built just outside the first pylon.  One of the obelisks (the shorter one, although still 23 meters tall) was taken to France in the early 1830s and now stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The remaining obelisk is shown below in its original location.


This photo was taken on March 3, 2013.

Isis, the Bird Goddess

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Bird.

We took a Nile River cruise in Egypt in 2013. One of the sites we visited was Esna Temple, about 50 km south of Luxor. The temple was originally built in New Kingdom times, but the present structure was completed by the Romans in the third century AD.

The temple walls are covered with ornate carvings. One of them, shown in the following image, is Isis, the bird goddess. Isis, whose name means “she who sits,” is seated with the warrior goddess Sekhmet to the left and a god(?) wearing a double-plumed headdress to the right while offering two vessels for judgement. Notice the ankh, representing the key of life, in Isis’ right hand. In this carving, the staff in her left hand is topped by a bird’s head rather than the traditional lotus.

This photo was taken on March 1, 2013. Specs are:

Olympus TG-1, ISO 800, f/4.0, 1/80 sec, focal length 80mm (35m-equivalent).

Hathor at the Temples of Philae

This is our entry in Where’s my backpack?’s Travel Theme: Cream.

In late February 2013, we took a cruise up the Nile River from Luxor to Aswan in Egypt. One of our stops was to visit the Temples of Philae on Agilika Island. The Temple of Isis is the largest temple of Philae.  This cream-colored temple is dedicated to Isis, Hathor, and other gods related to childbirth and midwifery.  Hathor, usually depicted as a cow goddess, is one of the most important and loved deities of Ancient Egypt.  In some stories, Hathor is the wife of Horus, who is the son of Isis and Osiris.  Part of the Temple of Isis is the Mammisi, or birth house. One scene on the wall of the Sanctuary of the Mammisi is Isis carrying her baby son Horus.  Around three sides of the Mammisi are columns topped with capitals showing the face of Hathor.


Hathor in the Temple of Isis

This photo was taken on February 27, 2013. Specs are:

Olympus TG-1, ISO 100, f/6.3 , 1/250 sec, 18 mm

Rameses II at Luxor – Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters K or L

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters K or L.

This post features one of the most popular statues at the temple of Luxor in Egypt, a seated likeness of Rameses II.

The temple of Luxor, on the east bank of the Nile in Luxor (previously known as Thebes) in Egypt, was built around 1400 BC.  The entrance to the temple (the first pylon) was built by the king Rameses II. The photograph is of one of the huge seated statues of Rameses II flanking this gate.

Rameses II at Luxor



Karnak Temple – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Architecture

This is my entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Architecture

Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt

Karnak Temple was constructed around 1400 BC on the east bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt (ancient Thebes).


Scale & Observation

In 2013, we visited Egypt, first touring Cairo before cruising down the Nile River to Aswan, making stops and excursions to observe ancient sites. Today’s Photo 101 theme is to “play with scale … use anything and everything to help convey size in your image.”  Three images from that trip are shown in this post, each using humans to suggest the enormity of objects from that earlier time.


Abu Simbel, Nubia, Egypt

This photo was taken at Abu Simbel in Nubia, Egypt. This is one of two temples at this site;  it was built for the goddess Hathor and for Nefertari, the favorite wife of Rameses II. Of  the six statues, two are Nefertari and four are Rameses II. These statues are each about 10 meters tall.

Pharaoh Amenhotep III, Colossi of Memnon, Luxor, Egypt

This photo is of the Colossi of Memnon, which are two massive seated stone statues of the Pharoh Amenhotep III, located in the Theban necropolis, west of the Nile River from Luxor. These statues are approximately 3400 years old. Including the stone platforms (about 4 meters high) beneath their feet, they are 18 meters high and stand 15 meters apart.

Unfinished obelisk, Aswan, Egypt

This photo shows (what is believed to be) the largest obelisk ever discovered, located in a stone quarry in Aswan, Egypt. Hatshepsut, one of the most successful Egyptian pharaohs, ordered this obelisk to be made. Fractures appeared in the obelisk as it was being carved from a single rock, and so it was abandoned. Had it been completed, it would have stood 42 meters tall.