Luxor was an important political and religious center since it was the ancient city of Thebes, the capital of Egypt. “Luxor” derives from the Arabic al-uksur, meaning “fortifications”. That name in addition was adapted from the Latin castrum, which referred to the Roman fort built around the temple in the later third century AD. The temple of Luxor has, since its inception, always been a sacred site. The Temple of Luxor, located on the east bank of the Nile, was dedicated to the veneration of Amon/Amun (who was associated with Mut and Khonsu, the Theban triad). It was known in the New Kingdom period as Ipt-Rsyt, which means the southern shrine. This was to differentiate between this Temple and Karnak Temple, which was the northern house of Amon Ra. The first pylon is over 70 feet high, originally fronted by massive statues and two obelisks. There are several open areas, once used for various forms of worship but now empty. Later additions include a shrine to Alexander the Great, a Roman sanctuary, and a thirteenth century Islamic shrine to Abou El-Hagag. Built largely by Amenhotep III (ruled 1388-1351 BCE) and Ramesses II (ruled 1279-1213 BCE), it appears that the temple's purpose was for a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival of Opet. The festival itself was to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with the divine office. Hence, Luxor Temple was the power base of the living divine king, and the foremost national shrine of the kings cult.