The site was occupied by a small temple of Amun
built by Queen Hatshepsut
III. However Ramesses
III built his own mortuary temple that now dominates the
Habu acted as an administrative center and was modified to be
a city that was inhabited to as near as the 9th century AD.
The city was named Djeme in the Coptic
The temple features wonderful reliefs depicting the battles
in which Ramesses III were engaged in whether with the Libyans
or with the Sea Peoples
(See Image 4).
At the entrance lies a quay that was once connected to the Nile
by a canal. To the left side as you enter the gate, there are
the chapels of the divine adorers (votaresses). (See Image 1)
These were built in the 25th
dynasties for the priestesses of Amun. To the extreme left
is the sacred lake of the city (See Image 2).
Ahead is the temple proper and its entrance is through the first
pylon. Behind the first pylon is the first court flanked on
the east by statues of Ramesses III engaged in pillars (See
To the southern side is the royal palace of Ramesses III, which
is only accessible from outside (See Old Photo 1). The palace
has the king's suites, suites for his women, a bath and other
public rooms. The walls that separate the court from the palace
has a window called "the window of royal appearances"
where the king were observing the ceremonies.
Passing through the second pylon you'll get into the second
court which was once made a church by Copts (See Image 5). Crosses
can still be still seen engraved on the walls. Next is the great
hall that has chapels dedicated to several deities linked to
it (See Image 7).
Two another smaller hypostyle halls are ahead and beyond them
are sanctuaries dedicated to Mut,
Amun and Khonsu,
and several other rooms.
Small Amun temple:
To the east of the Ramesses temple near the entrance is a
small temple dedicated to Amun. This temple was built by Queen
Hatshepsut and her arch-foe successor Thutmose III. This was
built in an earlier time than Ramesses'. It was restored and
enlarged in later eras. It comprises the barque
chapel of Amun, storage rooms, and the sanctuary.