Luxor’s Coolest Sight – The Avenue of the Sphinxes

When you travel through Egypt, it is really exciting to see ancient history popping up all over the country’s landscape. Especially when you’re not expecting it. I knew Luxor was full of tombs and temples, which is the reason I traveled to this town in upper Egypt earlier this month. Just minutes after arriving, on my ride from the airport to the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa, I spotted to my left what appeared to be several dozen sphinxes lining both sides of a dirt road. Could I be seeing correctly? Were these actually ancient sphinxes? In Luxor, Egypt, of course they were.

Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor, Egypt

Once I arrived at the hotel, the general manager and revenue manager, Christoph and Mohamed, introduced me to Osama, the head of the Egyptian Tourist Authority in Luxor. What I had seen, Osama explained, is called the Avenue of the Sphinxes, which dates back to Egypt’s 18th Dynasty during the New Kingdom.

Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor, upper Egypt

Unfortunately, hundreds of years ago people didn’t realize the historical value of these ancient sphinxes and built over them. It wasn’t until the the mid 20th Century that people awoke to the errors of their ancestors’ ways and began tearing down the 225 buildings and two mosques that were hiding these ancient monuments. Some of the 1,200 sphinxes unfortunately were quite damaged and others completely destroyed in the construction and deconstruction processes. Most are still in very good condition, though, lining both sides of a road which extends for two kilometers 700 meters from Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple.

One of the many sphinxes on the Avenue of the Sphinx

While visiting Luxor Temple, I was able to walk for several minutes along a portion of the as-yet unopened road. You don’t have to be satisfied with walking just a portion, though. The Avenue of the Sphinxes is officially opening in March, although no specific date has yet been set. This ancient road is such an incredible sight, I think it’s going to be one of Luxor’s biggest draws.

Portion of the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor

8 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jaime says:

    I agree this was one of the most impressive sights there. I didn’t know it was going to be opening in March. I am glad I am coming back… even though I saw a lot I still have so much more to see.

  2. Sabina says:

    Jaime, I am happy that this is the very first ancient sight I saw in Luxor, and that I saw it just minutes after arriving at the airport. I want to go back and walk the entire length of it.

  3. OSAMA ABD EL HAFIZ says:

    WHEN THE AVENUE SPHINXES ROAD OPEN THAT WILL TURN LUXOR TO REALLY OPEN COURT MUSEUM

  4. Sabina says:

    Osama, that is so true. I want to come back and see it!

  5. Sabrina says:

    Looks very interesting. Must be especially beautiful at night.

  6. Sabina says:

    Sabrina, I’m sure it is. I didn’t see it at night, though!

  7. Cherszy says:

    You are most definitely right! The Avenue of the Sphinxes is truly one of the coolest and most interesting sights of Luxor. For some reason, I feel like walking along it makes one feel sort of royal. Maybe it’s the length of the avenue or something or maybe because the end of it is the Karnak Temple, which is incredibly huge, that reminded me of a large palace complex.

  8. Sabina says:

    Hi, Cheryl! I’m a little amazed that I’d never heard of it before, as it really is awesome. I’m happy you loved it too :)

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