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With an area of approximately 416 square kilometers (161 sq mi).
As 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 temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city.
Immediately opposite, across the River Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of international tourists arrive annually to visit these monuments, contributing a large part towards the economy for the modern city.
Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes, the great capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, and the glorious city of the god Amon-Ra.
The city was regarded in the Ancient Egyptian texts as w3s.t (approximate pronunciation: "Waset"), which meant or "city of the sceptre" and also as t3 ip3t (probably pronounced as "ta ipet" and meaning "the shrine") and then, in a later period, the Greeks called it Thebai and the Romans after them 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 Re 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..
Two terminals serve international and domestic flights, with flights from Germany, France, Spain,
Italy and the UK connecting directly with Luxor. Other international flights land at Cairo International Airport, from where 45-minute domestic flights connect with Luxor.