Luxor, Arabic Al-Uqṣur, City (pop., 2023: 505,232), Upper Egypt. The southern part of the ruins of Thebes bears its name (Karnak is the name for the northern part). King Amenhotep III built the Great Temple of Amon on the eastern bank of the Nile River in the 14th century BC and it is the center of the site. Tutankhamun and Horemheb completed the temple, and Ramses II added to it. Ruins include pillars and courts of the original temple as well as the remains of Coptic churches and a mosque. The modern city serves as a tourist center and as a market for the surrounding agricultural district. Luxor is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site (designated in 1979) centered on Thebes.
Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt during the New Kingdom, and the city of Amun, which later became the god Amun-Ra. Ancient Egyptian texts called the city wAs.t (rough pronunciation: “Wasit”), which means “city of the scepter”. Later, in Demotic Egyptian, it became ta ipt (traditionally pronounced, “tA ipt” meaning “shrine/temple”), referring to Ipt-swt, the temple that the Arabs now call Karnak, meaning “fortified village”. The ancient Greeks and Romans adopted the name Thebes for the city. Thebes was also the “City of a Hundred Gates”, and sometimes people called it “Southern Heliopolis” (‘Iunu-shemaa'” in ancient Egypt), to distinguish it from Iuno or Heliopolis, the main place of worship of the city.
. God Ra in the north. People often called it niw.t, which simply meant “the city”. This name was only for three cities in Egypt (the others were Memphis and Heliopolis). It also had the name niw.t rst, meaning “Southern City”, because it was the southernmost city.