I am standing in a massive hall – hypostyle, it’s called – colossal pillars rising toward the heavens, each carved with exquisite hieroglyphics. Measuring in at 5,500 square meteres, this hall is filled with 134 pillars, each taking seven adults with arms fully extended to encircle it. This is the main hall of the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt. In it’s heyday, the hall was covered, the pillars were vibrantly painted and three feet of water covered the ground, making the hall resemble a sacred papyrus swamp along the Nile. It would have been dark, it would have been mesmerizing, and it would have all been in honor of the gods. Even now with the crumbling stones, ancient graffiti and meretriciously dressed tourists, Karnak Temple retains an air of spendor and I marvel at it’s vastness.
Built almost 3,500 years ago during the 18th to 20th dynasties, Karnak Temple was used as a means for the Pharaohs to display their wealth and power, and as an earthly location to commune with their myriad gods. Many Egyptian Pharaohs added to Karnak over the ensuing years, making it one of the largest temple complexes in Egypt. I feel very small, very insignificant and very humbled by this historic masterpiece. In summary, Karnak is very, very cool!

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