An often overlooked temple in Luxor’s Necropolis, this deserves more visitors for its relatively high state of preservation. The mortuary temple of Rameses III is past the road to Ramasseum, and the temple complex is in a much better shape than the latter. If you have a ticket that allows entry into any three complexes on the west bank, chose this one as one of them.
Though the site is older than Rameses III, and with both Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III having contributed temples to the site, an Amun temple, he went on to build a temple complex, with massive fortified enclosure wall here. Linear in shape like many other temples of the time, it leads from one courtyard to another. Crossing the first pylon brings you to colossal statues of Ramesses III as Osiris on your right as you enter.
With 7,000 odd square metres of richly decorated wall art, with many colours retaining their vibrancy thousands of years later, this is a very a story book on walls. Numerous tales are depicted on its massive walls, including wars against the famous ‘sea of peoples’ whose location is yet to be determined. As you crane you neck up, note the rich tapestry of stories, their blues and verdant greens still bright against the gold of the limestone.
Note the gateway too, unusual in Egypt as it is similar to a Syrian fortress. Apparently, it was in later centuries also used as a church. A city existed within its walls for centuries. Yes, it is likely to be your last stop in the tour of this area, but you would be well advised to save some energy for this complex. It is definitely worth it.
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