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The city of Luxor was originally the site of the 4000 year old city Thebes (the Greek name for the city, though in Egypt it was called Weset). On the east bank of the Nile, Thebes served as a capital city of Egypt during two of its prosperous periods (the Middle and the New Kingdom). As a thriving commercial, religious and civic center, the city became the site of monumental building (including the tombs of Ramses I and Tutankhamen), the remnants of which are a main draw for tourists to the city today.
As Egypt became divided after the reign of Ramses III, the city of Thebes fell into a gradual decline. Economic pressure combined with groups of foreign invaders (including the Assyrians and the Persians) eventually caused the city to be controlled by outside forces. However, even in its low period, Thebes remained a place of veneration as a burial site and as a remembrance of the Egyptian legacy, not only for Egyptians but for the Greeks and the Romans as well.
Today’s Luxor, a modern city built over the ruins of Thebes with a population of 200,000, thrives on Tourism as a major industry.