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Luxor is a city in Upper Egypt and the capital of Luxor Governorate. Its population numbers 376,022 (1999 survey), and its area is about 416 km² . As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's greatest open air museum", the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor standing within the modern city.

Immediately opposite, across the Nile River, 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 each year to visit these monuments, and their presence represents a large part of the economic basis for the modern city. As a result, Luxor represents an excellent base for touring Upper Egypt, and is a popular holiday destination, both in its own right and as a starting or finishing point for Nile cruises.

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September 2001

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