A Luxor, Egypt Must-See – Medinet Habu Temple

Some sights in Egypt reach out and grab your attention effortlessly, while others sit quietly in the background, largely overlooked by the tourist population. In Luxor’s history rich West Bank the mountainside tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens draw throngs of tourists to their awesome dark interiors, and rightly so. But there is a temple not far from those famous tombs which, in my opinion, is much more impressive – the temple of Medinet Habu.

Portion of Medinet Habu Temple

My second night at the Hilton Luxor, which is hosting me during my stay in this part of Egypt, I was introduced to Osama, who heads the Egypt Tourism Authority, and yesterday we traveled to Luxor’s West Bank so he could show me his favorite temple. Also called Habu Temple, this is a mortuary temple for Ramses III dating back to the 12th Century B.C. during the New Kingdom. Considering its auspicious spot in history, I was very surprised at how few people were there.

Entrance of Medinet Habu Temple

Osama told me that the lack of tourists was not a fluke. For some reason this temple is not considered a Luxor must-see. But it should be.

Wall of Habu Temple in Egypt - Luxor's West Bank

Medinet Habu is just awesome, with its walls and columns almost entirely covered in artwork and hieroglyphics, far more than I’ve ever seen elsewhere in Egypt or anywhere.

Carvings on wall of Medinet Habu Temple

The artwork is so detailed I got the impression that the Egyptians who carved these scenes into the hard rock walls so many centuries years ago really loved what they were doing. I can’t imagine spending so much time perfectly crafting a figure’s headdress, for instance, if you didn’t enjoy it.

Intricately carved figure on wall of the Medinet Habu Temple in Egypt

Habu Temple has several incredibly well-preserved spots of color. Completely covered in red, blue and yellow thousands of years ago, the temple must have been more beautiful than anyone today can imagine.

Painted ceiling of Medinet Habu Temple

The only sign of modern life at Medinet Habu are dozens of CD’s swaying in the wind at the top of the temple walls. Why are they there? To prevent birds from relieving themselves on and ultimately ruining its walls.

Habu Temple on Luxor's West Bank in Egypt

I’m not the only person who loved Medinet Habu. Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak was a frequent traveler to Luxor and made several trips into the temple to admire its intricacies. If you’re going to travel to Luxor you should put Medinet Habu at the top of your list for sights to see, like Hosni and me. :)

12 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jaime says:

    I am so glad I visited this while I was in Luxor. It really is a great temple and very impressive indeed. Sad not many people go… they are missing out big time.

  2. Sabina says:

    Hey, Jaime – it is true. They are missing out big time!

  3. Ayman Simman says:

    I was in love with Medinet Habu, but after I read that Mubarak loved it too, I should think again

  4. OSAMA ABD EL HAFIZ says:

    EVEN I HAVE BEEN HUNDERED OF TIMES II MEDINET HABU BUT I MUST SAY THIS TIME IT IS DIFFERENT

  5. Sabina says:

    Osama, thank you so much for introducing me to this incredible temple!!

  6. Sabina says:

    Salem, Ayman – la, you can still love it!

  7. John Hunter says:

    I agree it is a great place that shouldn’t be missed. When I was there, a long time ago, there were a couple pieces of stones (maybe half a meter by 2 meters) with reliefs just lying on the ground – like they fell over. It felt like ah these hardly matter: meanwhile in most any museum they would have been given star treatment.

  8. Steve says:

    That’s a shame that tourists don’t see this place because it looks really cool. And it is right next to Luxor? Hopefully word will get out about it because it just looks impressive. You have some really great photos of it.

  9. Sabina says:

    Hi, John – Hopefully those stones have been moved somewhere else. I wonder how well these sites are taken care of.

  10. Sabina says:

    Thanks, Steve – yes, it’s right across the river from the town of Luxor – about a three-minute ferry trip and then a short car drive. It’s not one of the more popular sites in the area, I guess because there are so many other places of interest. I’m glad you like my photos :)

  11. Elissa Banas says:

    Our group of 54 went and it was amazing!!! Wish we could have spent more time in Luxor….

  12. Sabina says:

    Hi Elissa :) Egypt is totally amazing. I’m so glad you and your group decided to go on the trip. I personally will be heading back to Luxor. I hope you can too.

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