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Amazingly Wonderful Tiny Temples, Tombs and Shrines

This is one of our absolute favourites: all of these places see tourists only very rarely, and we usually have all these sites to ourselves. They really are the hidden treasures of the Luxor area, and we will be so pleased to share them with you!

We start with a small Roman temple to the goddess Isis, tucked away in a village adjoining the desert. You can still trace the temple walls and precincts and the temple itself and its gateway are intact. Sometimes, we even find some of the villagers’ laundry hanging from a tree in what used to be hallowed grounds! A wonderful sight to see.

After this, we veer off into the desert, bypassing the Palace at Malqata (a visit to which you can combine with this excursion, see below) towards the great Temple of Medinet Habu, where we visit a small Ptolemaic chapel dedicated to the god of wisdom, Thoth. This chapel is actually wedged between some village houses (the one right next to it is even for rent for tourist stays!). The guardian will brew us some lovely strong Egyptian tea, as we bend over his cot set up in one of the temple rooms to have a close look at the beautiful reliefs. This tiny chapel is a charming miniature of the big temples that leave us in awe.

If you have not yet visited the Village of the Workers, also known as Deir el Medina, on one of your previous trips, this will be our next stop (and if you have already seen this place, don’t worry, we have found so many of these little treasures on our wanderings through the Theban Necropolis, there will be no problem choosing one that you haven’t seen and that is as inspiring). This village is a fascinating site: secretly tucked away in the mountain near the desert because these workers were the ones who made all those incredibly beautiful tombs in the Valley of the Kings and so could not be allowed to mingle freely, this is one of the few intact village sites of Ancient Egypt. And because of their line of work, the private tombs they constructed for themselves after working hours are a marvel of colour and design as well. There is also a small temple for the goddess Hathor in this compound.

Weather-, time- and physical fitness-permitting, we can climb a bit of the hill here to visit a small secret shrine to the goddess Meretseger, She Who Loves Silence, the Lady who presided over the Valley of the Kings. Otherwise, we will move on to Dra Abu el Naga, to view the truly tiny tombs of Roy and Shuroy, just recently opened to the public after painstaking restoration with proper materials by German archaeologists (and you know they will have done a thorough job!?). The colours in these tombs and the detail are truly breathtaking, as is the view from the hill where the tombs are situated (but don’t worry, we don’t have to climb it, we can drive up).

This is all we’ll have time for, but if you like you can extend this into a full day trip, and add some other wonderful sites with tombs and shrines galore. Just let us lead you and we’ll show you some magical places!

Price: 45 euros per person
Price combined with Malqata or with More Wonderful Tiny Places: 95 euros per person (also includes lunch, with tea and soft drinks)

Includes: set-up, transport, explanation, tickets

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This Site Was Last Updated Tuesday, 05 August, 2008 3:46 AM (UTC+3: Cairo)


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