The modern town of Luxor is the site of the famous city of Thebes the City of a Hundred Gates. It was the capital of Egypt from the twelfth dynasty on and reached its zenith during the New Kingdom.
It was from here that Thutmose III planned his campaigns, Akhenaten first contemplated the nature of god, and Rameses II set out his ambitious building program. Only Memphis could compare in size and splendor but today there is nothing left of Memphis: It was pillaged for its masonry to build new cities and little remains.
Although the mud-brick houses and palaces of Thebes have disappeared, its stone temples have survived. The most beautiful of these is the temple of Luxor. It is close to the Nile and laid out parallel to the riverbank.
The temple was built by Amenhotep III but completed by Tutankhamun and Horemheb and then added to by Rameses II. and Toward the rear is a granite shrine dedicated to Alexander the Great.