Luxor is the site of the Ancient Egyptian city of Waset, known to the Greeks as Thebes. Luxor has frequently been characterized as the “world’s greatest open-air museum”, with ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor standing within the modern city. Across the River Nile lie the monuments, temples, and tombs of the West Bank Necropolis, which includes the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.
Thebes thrived in the 11th Dynasty when Montuhotep II who united Egypt after the troubles of the first intermediate period brought stability. Because Thebes was the city of the god Amun-Ra, it remained the religious capital of Egypt until the Greek period.