Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Medinet Habu, and Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III

Three quite different temples on the West Bank of Luxor, all close to the Valley of the Kings, visited with a driver in the course of one afternoon along with the Valley of the Queens.

The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is unique among ancient Egyptian temples for its striking design, and location at the base of the cliffs of Deir el-Bahri. A 1km causeway runs through the centre up three substantial terraces, all built some three and a half thousand years ago.

Hatshepsut was a female pharaoh, controversial at the time, and after her death many of the engravings around the temple were defaced. Patches of colour and scenes do remain but the reason to visit the temple is the design and setting more than the details.

There are a number of shrines, and complexes toward top of the temple.

Medinet Habu is a far more orthodox temple, mainly built by Ramses III. It was one of the most detailed and well preserved temples I visited, preferable probably to Karnak and Luxor Temples.

The First Pylon was huge, and leads into the 150m long temple complex.

Inside are huge columns and statues before the Second Pylon.

Another enclosure follows, with colour preserved on the walls and ceilings.

After the Third Pylon is the remains of a large hypostyle hall, less well preserved.

Amenhotep III was one of the early pharaohs to build on the West Bank, so unfortunately his grand Mortuary Temple was plundered by subsequent pharaohs for stone over the centuries until little remains apart from this pair of badly damaged, pigeon covered, but still impressive statues that once would have stood by the temple entrance.

Author: jontycrane

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