It was closed thousands of years ago.. Egypt reopens the Pharaonic Rams Road

Cairo- About 3,500 years ago, the ancient Egyptian chose a road between two temples in the capital “Thebes” – currently the city of Luxor – in the south of the country, with a length of more than 2,750 meters, to conduct ceremonial processions on several holidays, which was known as “the path of the gods”, and after thousands of years Egypt restored the road On the occasion of his opening, she held a grand celebration that mixed the past of the ancestors with the present.

Since 2005, Egypt has begun restoring the ancient procession route, which links the Karnak and Luxor temples and is currently known as the “Road of Rams”. After years of effort and stumbling, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities opened the Pharaonic Road yesterday evening, Thursday, in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The celebrations, which were attended by a number of ministers and ambassadors of foreign countries, varied to highlight the identity of the ancient Egyptian civilization and the present heritage of the citizen who lives in the city of Luxor, as part of a propaganda campaign to promote tourism.

The ceremony is the second of its kind in a year. Last April, Egypt organized a pharaonic procession to accompany the transfer of the mummies of 22 kings who ruled ancient Egypt from the Egyptian Museum to the Museum of Civilizations, in what was known in the media as the procession of royal mummies.

open museum

The road of rams starts from the tenth edifice of the Karnak temple and heads south for a distance of 300 meters. Statues are stacked on both sides of it that take the body of a lion and the head of a ram. It extends to the Temple of Khonsu and then the Temple of Nut towards the west for a distance of about 200 meters to deviate south again with a length of two thousand meters until it reaches the Luxor Temple. The statues extending to Luxor Temple take the form of a lion’s body and a human head.

During an inspection tour to follow up the implementation of tourism and service projects in Luxor Governorate last October, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the state, with all its agencies, provides all the necessary capabilities to hold a major celebration to promote the governorate, on the sidelines of the completion of the project to revive the Rams Road.

Madbouly added that the projects currently being implemented in several archaeological areas in Luxor will make the city an open museum that attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world.

The description of “an open museum” was repeated more than once by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anani during the celebration of the opening of Rams Road, considering the restoration of the ancient procession path the largest Egyptian archaeological project.

According to the General Authority for Tourism Development, tourism contributes about 11.3% of the total national income, and provides 19.3% of the hard currency in Egypt, and the number of workers in the tourism sector is 12.6% of the country’s total workforce.

mixed party

The celebration of the opening of the Rams Road began with a quick tour of Sisi inside the Luxor Temple, during which he was accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, who gave an informational explanation of the importance of the Pharaonic path.

This was followed by a lyrical segment in Arabic and English by singer Mohamed Hamaki and singer Lara Iskandar, then a short documentary film called “Luxor .. The Secret” was shown, targeting publicity for some of the city’s archaeological sites such as the Temple of Hatshepsut, the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and Queens and the Temple of Habu.

The recorded clips were concerned with promoting the balloon tourism that Luxor is famous for, horse carriages (carts) and Nile tourism.

After a speech delivered by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities on the importance of reviving the Rams Road, and the efforts made to reach the moment of the opening ceremony, the Pharaonic procession began with a gradual panoramic illumination of the Rams Road along approximately 3 kilometers.

To the rhythm of the music of the Philharmonic Orchestra led by Maestro Nader Abbasi, and the words of the Amun chant sung by Matropon in the hieroglyphic language, 3 boats symbolizing the Holy Trinity of the Pharaohs moved through the first edifice of the Luxor Temple, carried by young men dressed in Pharaonic clothes, and led by banner holders and girls in Pharaonic costume giving dancing shows. To the beginning of the road of rams.

In conjunction with the procession’s movement on the road of rams, 3 floating gold (boats) designed in the pharaonic style, and symbolizes the trinity of pharaonic deities: Amun, Mut and Khonsu.

As the procession reached the beginning of the rams’ road, the singer Wael El-Fashni presented a famous song about the city of Luxor, which is “Luxor is our country, the country of tourists.” And with the conclusion, fireworks appeared in the sky of Luxor.

wide interaction

The pioneers of social networking sites interacted widely with the opening of the Rams Road and the accompanying ceremony, and some of them expressed their fascination with the organization and the various paragraphs between the era of the pharaohs and contemporary, while some compared between the ceremony and its counterpart, which was held to accompany the procession of royal mummies, stressing that the latter was more organized and impressive. .

On the other hand, a number of social media pioneers criticized the preoccupation with organizing huge celebrations in a country suffering from economic crises and lacking political freedoms.

revival of rams

In 1949, 8 statues were discovered in the road of rams, and then the rest of the road was discovered by archaeologists until 2006.

The Rams Road is located in the city of Luxor, and in the past it was called “Thebes”, which was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle and Modern Pharaonic eras, and ancient Thebes and its tombs were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979, according to the official website. Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The Rams Road connects Luxor Temple in the south and Karnak Temple in the north, with a length of 2,750 meters and a width of 76 meters. On both sides of it are statues dating back more than 3,500 years, numbering 1,059 statues, separated by a distance of 4 meters.

Statues of the Way of Rams, a number of which were destroyed over the different ages, take two forms, the first is the body of a lion and the head of a human “Sphinx”, and the second is the shape of a ram as a symbol of one of the gods among the pharaohs, “Amun-Ra”, and all the statues are erected on stone bases.

During the reign of King Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty, the construction of this road began, but the bulk of the foundation was during the reign of King Nectanebo I, founder of the 30th Pharaonic Dynasty, the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The ancient Egyptian called the path of rams “Wat Nather”, meaning the way of God, and held celebrations in it for several holidays, such as the coronation of the king and the festival of Opet, which is the harvest festival of the pharaohs, and it was a way for major royal processions in the ancient time.

In 2005, the Egyptian government began to develop a vision to revive the road of rams, and despite moving forward with the implementation of the project, it subsequently faltered for several years, especially with the political turmoil that followed the January 25, 2011 revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.

What then?

A number of tourism companies demanded to amend the program of visits to the archaeological sites in Luxor to spend a full day on the Kabash Road after its opening, according to the Cultural Tourism Marketing Committee in Luxor.

The head of the committee, Mohamed Othman, told Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that the expected increase in the tourist flow after the opening of the Rams Road would reach 38%, in addition to an expected 18% increase in the volume of daily spending for tourists inside Luxor after its transformation into the largest open museum in the world.

Regarding the plans of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for the upcoming projects, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, confirmed the inauguration of the Muhammad Ali Palace, which is located in the Shubra district of Cairo, explaining that the restoration of the palace cost 300 million pounds, or the equivalent of 19 million dollars.

Waziri indicated, during an interview on Sada Al-Balad channel, that the Museum of Egypt’s Capitals will soon open in the New Administrative Capital, which tells the stories of the most important capitals in the history of Egypt with different civilizations, in addition to the opening of the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria in the coming months.

As for the largest project that is expected to open next year, it is the Grand Egyptian Museum, which the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities considered the largest museum known to mankind, as it is located on an area of ​​half a million square meters.

He explained that the Great Museum includes more than 55,000 artifacts, 4,500 pieces of Pharaonic King Tutankhamun’s antiquities, as well as other artifacts.

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