Karnak (kärˈnăk) [key], village (1986 pop. 20,842), central Egypt, on the Nile. It is 1 mi (1.6 km) NE of Luxor and occupies part of the site of Thebes. Remains of the pharaohs abound at Karnak. Most notable is the Great Temple of Amon. Although there was an older foundation, the temple was largely conceived and accomplished in the XVIII dynasty, and it is often considered the finest example of New Empire religious architecture. The temple grounds extend about 1,000 ft (300 m). The western half comprises a vast court and the great hypostyle hall (388 ft by 170 ft/118 m by 52 m), with 134 columns arranged in 16 rows. The eastern half is a complex of halls and shrines, many of the Middle Kingdom. There are smaller temples at Karnak dedicated to Mut and to Khensu, wife and son respectively of Amon.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Karnak from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Egyptian Political Geography