In legend at least, Ozymandias has no parallels as a ruler. In actual history too, Ramesses II, the Egyptian ruler Shelley referred to 'the king of kings' has an unparalleled place in ancient Egyptian history. As often happened, a powerful ruler built a fitting temple to himself. Ramesseum, as his mortuary temple is now referred to, unfortunately is in ruins. The remains of the nearby mortuary temple of Ramasses III at Medinat Habu and of Hatshepsut are far grander today. If you have a ticket that allows for three places in the Valley of Kings, do not choose this one.
However, for those who have grown with the legend, do go and marvel at the ruins. There are still remains of the pylons and halls. The most spectacular remains are those of the fallen over figure of Ramesses II – which when it stood at its full height of 62 feet would have been a sight indeed. Today the head has toppled over, and lies on the side – and that alone is bigger than a standard full size bus! What efforts and technology it must have taken about 3,500 years ago to make a colossal statue of its size is something to truly marvel at. The temple apparently was built over 20 years! There are still a lot of wall stories still clearly visible.
You can take pictures of the Ramasses from the road. For a better idea of the temple structure, visit Medinat Habu, just down the road.
As in every other temple here, the heat is relentless – carry your sun protection gear if you are going in for a longer visit that pics from the road.
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