Monuments Galore

If ancient ruins are your delight, there is no country in the world quite like Egypt. The pharaohs of this early civilization were on a major power/ego trip when they constructed images of their likeness for hundreds of kilometers up and down the Nile. The picture language hieroglyphics boast of a pharaoh's lifetime achievements. The monuments served as the pharaoh's award, bestowed upon us mortals for all eternity.

Colossal statues of the pharaohs.

The Great Pyramids, supposedly over 4,500 years old, are some of the original monuments in Egypt. They served as enormous tombstones to let everyone in the kingdom know where their living god was buried. What successive pharaohs in later centuries lacked in work forces to construct pyramids of their own, they made up for in colossal statues and massive temple complexes elsewhere along the Nile.

The spectacular Avenue of Sphinxes ends at a modern mosque. One time it was 3 km long connecting Luxor and Karnak.

Midway down the Nile are the wicked ruins of Luxor, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings where ol' King Tut was buried. Tut ruled during the less affluent Middle Kingdom when pharaohs had to settle for being buried in a simple tomb with all their treasures. Luxor and Karnak served as worshipping stations where subsequent pharaohs contributed by linking on a new wall or line of statues in their name. The Luxor and Karnak temples are a massive hodgepodge of add-ons spanning several centuries, including contributions from the Romans and Alexander the Great himself.

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