Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

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Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by DJKeefy »

The Ptolemaic temple of Qasr Al Agouz on Luxor’s west bank is to open next week.

On Luxor’s west bank, in front of Habu Temple stands the small Ptolemaic chapel temple of Qasr Al Agouz -- now awaiting visitors. After seven years of being off Luxor’s tourist map for restoration, Qasr Al Agouz Temple is to be officially inaugurated next week.

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Although it encapsulates a very important period in Egyptian history, the temple is virtually unknown to visitors.

It dates back to the reign of King Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II and is composed of three oblong rooms, including an offering room and a sanctuary. The temple is dedicated to the god Ibis-Thoth who is represented with a human body and the head of an ibis. It is sometimes depicted wearing the lunar disc with the two phases of a full moon and crescent, sometimes also with a crown.

Two deified mortals of the Late Period showing Imhotep's role as healer and holy Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu are also represented on the walls. The Ptolemaic dynastic cult is well represented, including the ancestors of Ptolemy (with no mention of the first Ptolemy son of Lagus, who was a commoner) and their queens. Scenes depicting Thoth with other gods and goddesses are also shown.

“Although the temple is architecturally almost intact, its decorations have suffered a high rate of humidity and erosion,” Mohamed Beabesh, inspector chief of antiquities of Luxor’s west bank, told Ahram Online. He explained that scenes of Qasr Al Agouz are painted, not carved, which is very rare in Ptolemaic monuments and reflects the incompleteness of the building, as evidenced by the lack of decoration on the external walls which are not decorated.

The temple was subjected to an epigraphic survey by Dominique Mallet in 1909 from the French archaeological institute (IFAO). The Marc Bloch Institute of Egyptology of the University of Strasburg, solicited by the Supreme Council of the Antiques of Egypt, in collaboration with the IFAO, have carried out comprehensive restoration work since 2002.

The temple and its paintings were subjected to studies and research and in 2005 concrete restoration started.

Beabesh said that cracks spread over the walls have been repaired, the paintings consolidated, the floor covered with bubbles to absorb subterranean water and a new lighting system installed in order to make the temple accessible at night.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/59958.aspx


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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by LivinginLuxor »

In reality it has always been open - I first visited it in 1998, after seeing it labelled on the Theban Mapping Project's sit. Our taxi drove around the Habu area for quite a while before we found it. I also went there a couple of times during the restoration, and so hope that the next small temple to be restored is Deir el Shelwit. Maybe, the official opening is to make it a ticket only place.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by Jane Akshar »

Stan is right, I had guests there 6 weeks ago, it is a regular for people interested in that period.
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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by DJKeefy »

Maybe they mean officially open :lol:
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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by A-Four »

Throughout Upper Egypt there are so many so called 'closed sites......for "restoration". As a young man I always played by the rules, however when I am back in the UK during the summers, I read up on certain sites plus some research. then on my return to Egypt the site is closed and has been for many years. As a rule its usually the French who allow no one anywhere near their concessions

There is one such site in Asswan, that has been closed for almost 25 years, I walked by it a couple of years ago, a young arrogant French student told me it was a closed site, little did he know that I had been in that temple before he was born, and he annoyed me so much that on the Friday, I climbed into this site. I was shocked that in 25 years so very little had been done at this site. The next day I walked by the sight again, I was pleased to notice the young student with what was obviously his director in-toe, I informed the young man of my findings, his director gave out that look, a five year old gives when an adult questions why he has not shared his sweets with his brothers and sisters.

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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by Bullet Magnet »

700 English and permission from the SCA.
Sod that, I'm only here for a week, and 700 quid to see something the locals use as a short cut.. :urm:
Different place mind..

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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by Scottishtourist »

God...not another old crumbling ruin being re-opened to "entice"the tourists back!
Who the hell will this appeal to?
A crowd of "pseudo" Egyptologists looking for a cultural adventure and a well informed guide to explain it all?
It's just getting worse and worse!
Well,I totally wish the twenty or so "cultured travellers" who'll appreciate this, good luck on visiting and hope they'll spend equivalent of the couple of thousand package tourists who would have visited and appreciated info on up and coming lively nitelife(if there was any!)
But,then again...cultural tourism is the only type that is appreciated!

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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by LivinginLuxor »

How bitter and twisted you are today, ST! That small 'crumbling ruin' will not appeal to the masses, as it is small and not as exciting a visit as nearby Medinet Habu, but it will interest people who are interested in Ptolemaic chapels or Egyptian history.

Luxor, as you probably know, is not a destination for mass tourism in reality, as I've often stated. The majority of tourists here go on a cruise and spend a few days in a hotel afterwards, or come here on a daytrip from the Red Sea. I also decry the lack of any night life in Luxor, but I don't think that alone would bring back tourists in any numbers. It doesn't have beaches, coral reefs etc etc which is the type of holiday many people want.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
Stan

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Re: Qasr Al Agouz temple in Luxor to open next week

Post by TonyC »

LivinginLuxor wrote:How bitter and twisted you are today, ST!
Only today?

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