1. Tomb of Tutankhamun
The most famous tomb of the Valley of the Kings – the tomb of Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 18, became one of the most famous rulers of Ancient Egypt due to the fact that his tomb was the only royal burial that reached us not plundered. Tutankhamun ascended the throne at the age of 9 and did not leave any significant trace in the history of Egypt: we only know that during his reign in the country, the process of restoration of the old religious traditions and cult of the god Amun as the supreme deity of all Egypt, who were under the rule of the pharaoh, began -heretic Akhenaten were rejected for the supreme solar deity – Aton. Tutankhamun, whose name originally sounded “Tutankhaton”, changed it, thereby emphasizing his desire to revive the ancient cult of Amun.
During the reign of Tutankhamun, Egypt gradually restored its international influence, which was shaken during the reign of the pharaoh-reformer. Thanks to the commander Horemheb, who later became the last pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty, Tutankhamun strengthened the position of Egypt in Ethiopia and Syria. A brilliant future could have awaited him, but he unexpectedly died without leaving an heir-son.
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2. Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
The greatest buildings of the era of the New Kingdom were the temples, or “houses” of the gods, as they were called by the ancient Egyptians. The waters of the Nile divided Ancient Egypt into two parts: eastern and western, into the Kingdom of the Living and the Kingdom of the Dead. On the east bank of the Nile, the palaces of the pharaohs and huge temples were erected, glorifying the gods; pyramids, tombs, and memorial temples were built on the west bank, where a service was held in honor of the dead and deified pharaohs. One of them is the memorial church of Queen Hatshepsut (1525-1503 BC), dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Hatshepsut was the only female pharaoh in Egyptian history. She was given all the secular and religious honors appropriate for the pharaohs, she was depicted, as it should be for the real pharaoh, with the attributes of Osiris, with a beard tied under his chin. The female pharaoh Hatshepsut was an outstanding person. The tsarina woke the fantasy of novelists for many years and made new mysteries to Egyptologists. After the death of her father, Thutmose I, she married her stepbrother Thutmose II. When he died at a fairly early age, his only heir was the young Thutmose III, the son of one of the youngest wives of the pharaoh. Hatshepsut ruled the state on his behalf and held the throne for 22 years.
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3. Abu simbel
The cave temple of Pharaoh Ramses II in Abu Simbel is one of the most famous monuments of ancient Egyptian culture. Huge, 20 meter high statues of the pharaoh Ramses II, framing the entrance to the temple, today have become the same symbols of Egypt as the pyramids and sphinx. From many covers of guidebooks, the formidable face of this powerful pharaoh, a courageous warrior, a favorite of the gods, looks at us.
Abu Simbel is probably the most investigated monument of Ancient Egypt. The fact is that in the late 1950s, during the construction of the Aswan Hydroelectric Power Station, Abu Simbel was in the territory of the future reservoir, and he was threatened with complete flooding. Various rescue projects have been developed to save the world famous monument, including the creation of an underwater glass dome over the temple. But as a result, they decided to disassemble all the facilities of the complex and move them to a higher place. The salvation of Abu Simbel is the most expensive project of UNESCO. This unprecedented action was carried out in four years, and experts from fifty countries of the world took part in it.
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4. Valley of the Kings
In the mountains outside the city of Thebes, numerous small valleys begin, the most famous of which is the Valley of the Kings, or “the valley of the royal tombs of Biban al-Muluyuk.” Once it was a gorge, lost among a pile of rocks. Today, despite the fact that people have paved convenient roads here, it remains shrouded in a haze of mystery.
The history of the Valley begins with the unexpected decision of Pharaoh Thutmose I to separate his tomb from the memorial temple and, moreover, to bury his body not in a magnificent tomb, but in a secret place. This decision violated the 1700-year tradition. The master of the pharaoh – Ineni – hollowed out for his master a grave in the form of a well in this secluded valley. A steep staircase led to the burial chamber at the bottom of the well, carved into the rock according to the plan, which was subsequently accepted by all the other pharaohs.
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5. Mount Moses and the Monastery of St. Catherine
Mount Moses and the monastery of St. Catherine – a holy place marked by the Bible, is visited by thousands of pilgrims. According to the Bible, here Moses received from God the famous 10 commandments written on tablets of stone. At the foot of the mountain is a monastery, named after the holy martyr Catherine, who was executed for her refusal to renounce Christianity.
St. Catherine came from a wealthy family, received a good education – she knew many languages, knew mathematics and philosophy. She was a staunch Christian. When the young woman tried to convert the Roman emperor Maxentius to Christianity, he sent her to Alexandria, where in 305 she was martyred. On the site of this monastery, built in the VI century by Emperor Justian, the bush of the Burning Cupids grows, from where God spoke with Moses, sending him to Egypt to save the Israelites from captivity. In 324, the mother of Emperor Constantine Helen ordered the construction of a chapel on the site of the burning bush.
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