Abydos is an important Ancient Egyptian site located about 50 miles north-west of Luxor which contains a wealth of tombs, temples and other archaeological remains.
Covering a vast area, Abydos has offered up many historical sites and much of the area still remains uncovered. It is perhaps best known for the well preserved remains of the Temple of Seti I (also known as the Great Temple of Abydos), which was built by Seti and his son Ramesses II in the late 13th century BC. This is the principle tourist attraction of the Abydos site, and in fact much of Abydos is not open to the travelling public.
The settlement itself has a rich history dating back as far as 4,000 BC and pre-dynastic Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom (circa 2,000 BC – 1,600 BC) Abydos became an important religious centre revolving around the worship of Osiris. This led to Abydos becoming one of the most important cities in the region and it became the burial site of many of the ruling elite.
Abydos continued to be an important city and site of pilgrimage right up to the late Roman period and ruins have been found from throughout the long history of the site.
Other notable historic sites at Abydos include the Osireion, the symbolic tomb of Osiris, the necropolis of Umm el-Qa’ab and the Temple of Ramesses II. This site also features as one of our top ten tourist attractions of Egypt.
Getting to Abydos
Many visitors will visit Abydos – along with Dendera – either by train or organised tour from Luxor. The fare is approximately LE 52, first class. From the station, either the tourist police or a police-escorted taxi will take you to the site of the Ramesside temples.
From the world famous pyramids of Giza to the mask of Tutankhamen at Cairo's Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, follow in the footsteps of the pharaohs in our guide to the best Ancient Egyptian attractions to see.