Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is located on the West bank of the river Nile in Luxor, 25 km from the train station. It is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage in 1979. together with the ancient city of Thebes .
It is a necropolis of ancient Egypt, located near Luxor, where most of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom are buried, as well as several queens, nobles and even some animals .
It was inaugurated by Tuthmosis I around 1500 B.C., the third pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty. Necropolis remained in use for over 400 years.
The Valley of the Kings has two parts: the East Valley and the West Valley. The first one is the most visited by tourists and includes 62 tombs.
The most famous tombs are: King Thutmose I, Thutmose III, Ramses VI, Mrenptah and Amonhotep II. The tomb of Tutankhamun (Tut-Ankh-Amun) is most famous one, because it is the only tomb discovered intact, with all its treasures.
The most beautiful tomb is probably Tomb of Seti I while Tomb of Thutmose III, famous for its magnificent paintings.
Very few European travelers visited the Valley of the Kings until the arrival of the French expedition with Napoleon in 1799. The group of historians explored the place for the first time and even identified some forgotten tombs, like tomb of Amenhotep III.
Shortly after them, other archaeologists arrived like Belzoni, Champollion, Lepsius, Maspero and Howard Carter and many others. In nineteenth century and early twentieth century some royal tombs were discovered which enhanced growing interest in the necropolis and Egypt in general.
In 1922. Valley of the Kings unveiled its best kept secret, the famous tomb of king Tutankhamun, the boy king of the eighteenth dynasty. Filled with treasures, it represents the most important finding of archeology of the twentieth century.