Explore the beautiful 'Sun Court' of Amenhotep III after dark.
Up until now, one of the few ancient heritage sites that remained open after dark was Luxor Temple.
That is about to change with the famed Valley of the Kings due to remain open after sunset from July 25.
Personally, I can't recommend Luxor Temple at night highly enough. The air is cooler, the city quieter, and the temple's columns, statues and walls beautifully lit. Apart from being simply stunning to look at, the lights also make many of the carved relief easier to see and read.
When the sun goes down, this is where you want to be: Amenhotep III’s famous peristyle court. It was once enclosed on three sides by double rows of towering columns in the form of bundled papyri. Because the plaza is completely open to the sky, it is known by the modern name, ‘Sun Court’.
Today it is admired for its spare elegance, but in Amenhotep’s day, ca. 1380 BC, the spaces between the columns were filled with large sandstone statues of the king.
Beyond the court is Amenhotep’s great Colonnade, built as the new grand entrance to the Temple of Amun of the Opet. Sadly, the king didn’t live to see it finished. His grandson, Tutankhamun, took up the project and decorated the elegant open papyrus columns after the wayward reign of Tutankhamun’s father, Akhenaten.
Photo: Waleed Yassin