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The Ramessuem

Ramses II built his fabulous mortuary temple on the site of Seti I's ruined temple, where he identified himself with the local form of the God, Amun. It was begun early in his reign, and took twenty years to complete. However, Ramesses built the temple too close to the Nile and the flood waters took their toll. Only a single colonnade remains of the First Courtyard.

The main building where the funerary cult of the king was celebrated was a typical stone-built New Kingdom temple. It consisting of two successive courtyards with pylon entrances, and a hypostyle hall with surrounding annexes.

The pylons, some of the oldest examples of such structures, are decorated with scenes from the Battle of Qadesh (Kadesh). These scenes show Ramesses fighting the Hittites.

In front of the ruins is the base of the colossus of Ramesses that once stood 17m (about 69 feet) high. The statue would have weighed more than 1,000 tons and was bought from Aswan in one piece. On the granite colossus's shoulder is an inscription describing Ramesses as the "sun of Princes". The statue fell into the Second Court and the head and torso remain there, but the other broken pieces are in museums all over the world

 

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