Click Here To Pay
Home > About Egypt > Museums In Egypt
Open Air Museum, Luxor
  Images in This Category


The Open Air Museum is located across from the Great Court, opposite to the entrance to Ramesses III's temple in the Temple of Amun. It is accessed to the left of the first courtyard just before the Second Pylon at Karnak in modern Luxor (ancient Thebes) It has a collection of monuments that were discovered elsewhere at Karnak, particularly inside the Second and Third Pylons. 

An open air museum is a distinct type of museum exhibiting its collections out-of-doors. The first open air museums were established in Scandinavia towards the end of the nineteenth century, and the concept soon spread throughout Europe and North America. Open air museums are variously known as skansen, museums of buildings and folk museums. A more recent form is the Ecomuseum, which originated in France. A comprehensive history of the open air museum as idea and institution can be found in the Swedish museologist Sten Rentzhog's book "Open air museums. The Open Air Museum in Luxor contains a collection of smaller shrines and temples which mainly illustrates how diverse the Karnak area was, and how many options there must have been for the devout.

The handful of shrines are in fair to excellent condition. Perhaps the most attractive to many is the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut, which I found impossible to transform into a proper photo. It is interesting from the fact that every stone contains an individual design, instead of forming part of a larger design. This has made it difficult to reconstruct the chapel.

The gem of the collection is usually considered to be the White Chapel built by Sesostris 1 of the 12th Dynasty, with its excellent bas-reliefs. It was not open for entry upon last visit (2004).Apart from the shrines, the Open Air Museum contains a rather badly presented collection of bits and pieces and just a few complete statues. These are mainly Sekhmet statues from the Temple of Ptah. They seem to have been made by the same people carving out the hundreds of Sekhmet statues for the Temple of Mut.

We can find blocks from the beautiful Red Chapel of Hatshepsut, which have only recently been reconstructed into an actual structure. That Chapel served as a shrine for the baroque of Amun.

We can also see the remains of the splendid White Chapel of Senwosret I, the oldest monument at Karnak. The scenes carved on the stones show the king offering to his mighty god Amun- Re and Amun in his ithyphallic form. The ancient administrative areas of Egypt are listed in the form of columns on the parapet. The entire region of Egypt is represented on the chapel of the Pharaoh who is the guarantor of the order established by Amun.

The Alabaster Chapel of Amenhotep I is located north of the museum. It is considered the oldest shrine for the Barque. Inside, the king is shown presenting offerings to the sacred barque.

At the end of the museum, is a reconstructed summit of a small pylon constructed by Thutmose II. It was rebuilt by Thutmose IV and called the Festival Court. It was supposed to be situated in front of the fourth pylon on the site of the eastern side of the Hypostyle Hall.