The Al-Karnak region is essentially a huge temple structure surrounded by a small, traditional Egyptian village. The temple is the main attraction of the area. Work on constructing the temple began in 16 BC and was overseen by several emperors.
In the popular style of open-air museums, the temple is the largest ancient religious site in the world. It is the second most visited tourist destination in Egypt after the Giza Pyramids.
There are four main areas of the temple, and only one, the "main" area (Precinct of Amon-Re), is available to the general public.
For those who want to know more about rural and village life in Egypt, explore the small outlying towns of the temple.