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Sun temple of Ramesses II Sun temple of Ramesses II
image © 2004

The temple is dedicated to the deities Re-HarakhtyWho is this deity?, AmunWho is this deity?, PtahWho is this deity? and Ramesses II himself. Four huge seated colossiWhat does it mean? of Ramesses II dominate the massive façade which imitates the shape of a pylon in its inclination (see Image 1). The façade is about 30 meters (100 ft) in height and 35 (115 ft) meters in width. The height of a seated colossus is about 20 meters (66 ft).

Image 1

Statues of Ramesses' family members are between and around his legs including his mother, his wife Nefertari and his son, prince Amenherkhepshef. The royal cartoucheWhat does it mean? that bears the name of Ramesses is inscribed on the chest and arms of the colossi. Ramesses is sculptured wearing the double crown with the uraeusWhat does it mean? on his forehand and his hands put on his legs.

Not all the colossi are in a good preserved state. The second one from the left-hand side is damaged from chest and his headdress is lying on ground, while the fourth one had lost its chin and the uraeus figure.

Above the doorway in a recess, is the sculpted statue of the falcon-headed god Re-Harakhty. On his both sides there are sunken reliefs showing Ramesses II presenting the small figures of MaatWho is this deity? to him. The upper edge of the façade is adorned with baboon figures.
The 7-meter doorway of the temple lead to a small corridor and to the central hall.

The Central Hall:

Image 2

The hall is lined with two rows of four statues of Ramesses in the Osiride-form, dividing the hall in three aisles (See Image 2, Lithograph 2). The four statues to left-hand side wear the crown of Upper Egypt, while those on the right-hand wear the double crown.

The reliefs of this hall are very lavish. In a relief, Ramesses is shown slaying the NubianWhat does it mean? captives before Amun-ReWho is this deity? and Libyan captives before Re-Harakhty. The northern wall bears the reliefs of his greatest battle against Kadesh and the HittitesWhat does it mean?. The battle is pictured in its detailed phases including the relaxing features of soldiers in encampments before heading the battlefield.

In another reliefs in the back wall (western wall) Ramesses is shown presenting Nubian captives to Amun-Re, MutWho is this deity? and to himself as god. He is also shown presenting Hittite captives to Re-Harakhty and again to the figure of himself.

The Second Hall:
It is supported by 4 square columns. Reliefs here show the king with his wife, Nefertari, making offerings once before the sacred barqueWhat does it mean? of Amun-Re and another time before the sacred barque of Re-Harakhty. This hall is followed by a small antechamberWhat does it mean? then the sanctuary.

Image 3

The sanctuary:
The sanctuary has 3 chapels with the central one including the statues of honored deities of the temple: Ptah, Re-Harakhty, Amun-Re and Ramesses II himself. The sunrays illuminate the statues twice a year. (See Image 3, Lithograph 3)

Eight storerooms are connected to the central hall, which are allocated for the storage of treasures. Walls here show crude reliefs that are mostly of religious nature.

Lithograph 1
Lithograph 2
Lithograph 3

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