Temple of Ramesseum

Located in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt across the river Nile from the modern city of Luxor, The Ramesseum is the memorial Temple Of Pharaoh Ramesses II. It was dedicated to God Amon and the deceased king, but later many other kings also have superimposed monuments in the Ramesseum such as Memptah and Ramses III. It was built during the period 1304-1207 BC and is thought to inspire the poem ‘Ozymandias’ by English poet Shelly.

Design


The temple is famous for its 57-foot seated statue of Ramses II, only fragments of which are left now. Ramesseum's walls are decorated with reliefs depicting scenes from the Battle of Kadesh, the Syrian wars, and the Festival of Min. In front of the ruins of the first pylon, there used to be 1000-ton, the 18-metre high colossal statue of Ramses, the remains of which are still visible today.


Structure



  • Measuring 600 feet by 220 feet, the Ramesseum depicts the years gone by through the reliefs that cover the most of the walls. The eastern pylon which used to be the main entrance is decorated with scenes of the battle of Kadesh. On the right-wing, the inscriptions bear the representation of the 118 cities that Ramses III has conquered. On the left-wing, scenes depict the battle between Ramses II and the Hittites.


  • On the right of the first open courtyard, lies the Temple built by Seti I in honour of God Amon-Ra. The Second courtyard has two rows of Osiris columns on both sides representing Ramses II. There is a small hypostyle hall where the first 12-month calendar is illustrated. This hall also houses the sacred boat of Amon-Ra and the walls are decorated with scenes from the offerings to the sacred boat.



Mythological Aspects


One could see Ramses II sitting under the tree of life on the western wall, where the God Thoth and Goddess Seshat are recording his name in the lives of the tree for long life. Further, into the western side, there is a library, linen room and a sanctuary dedicated to God Amon-Ra. To the south of the section lies the small Temple Of Mern-Ptah, the successor of Ramses II.


Although the temple has not survived much to the onslaughts of time, it is beautiful in its way of mortality. It truly speaks of the nature that nothing lasts forever. A visit to the Temple Of Ramesseum filled with serenity, calmness and a feel for the people that have been there.

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