Luxor is a modern city in Upper (southern) Egypt which includes the site of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Luxor has frequently been characterized as the “world’s greatest open-air museum”, as the ruins of the Egyptian temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the river Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs of the west bank Theban Necropolis, which includes the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of tourists from all around the world arrive annually to visit Luxor’s monuments, contributing greatly to the economy of the modern city. The population of Luxor is 422,407 (2021), with an area of approximately 417 km2 (161 sq mi). It is the capital of Luxor Governorate. It is among the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

The name Luxor (Arabic: الأقصر, romanized: al-ʾuqṣur, lit. ’the palaces’, pronounced /ˈlʌksɔːr, ˈlʊk-/,[4] Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ˈloʔsˤoɾ], Upper Egyptian: [ˈloɡsˤor]) derives from the Arabic qasr (قصر), meaning “castle” or “palace”.[5][6][a] It may be equivalent to the Greek and Coptic toponym τὰ Τρία Κάστρα ta tria kastra and ⲡϣⲟⲙⲧ ⲛ̀ⲕⲁⲥⲧⲣⲟⲛ pshomt enkastron respectively, which both mean “three castles”. The Sahidic Coptic name Pape (Coptic: ⲡⲁⲡⲉ, pronounced Coptic pronunciation: [ˈpapə]),[8] comes from Demotic Ỉp.t “the adyton”, which, in turn, is derived from the Egyptian. The Greek forms Ἀπις and Ὠφιεῖον come from the same source. The Egyptian village Aba al-Waqf (Arabic: أبا الوقف, Ancient Greek: Ωφις) shares the same etymology. The Greek name is Thebes (Ancient Greek: Θῆβαι) or Diospolis. The Egyptian name of the city is Waset, also known as Nut (Coptic: ⲛⲏ)

History Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt during the New Kingdom, and the city of Amun, later to become the god Amun-Ra. The city was regarded in the ancient Egyptian texts as wAs.t (approximate pronunciation: “Waset”), which meant “city of the sceptre”, and later in Demotic Egyptian as ta jpt (conventionally pronounced as “tA ipt” and meaning “the shrine/temple”, referring to the jpt-swt, the temple now known by its Arabic name Karnak, meaning “fortified village”), which the ancient Greeks adapted as Thebai and the Romans after them as Thebae. Thebes was also known as “the city of the 100 gates”, sometimes being called “southern Heliopolis” (‘Iunu-shemaa’ in Ancient Egyptian), to distinguish it from the city of Iunu or Heliopolis, the main place of worship for the god Ra in the north. It was also often referred to as niw.t, which simply means “city”, and was one of only three cities in Egypt for which this noun was used (the other two were Memphis and Heliopolis); it was also called niw.t rst, “southern city”, as the southernmost of them.