The Ramesseum is the memorial temple of the great warrior king Ramesses II. One of the largest and best-preserved of these temples, this “Mansion of Millions of Years” contains the fallen colossus that inspired Percy Bysshe Shelleys poem, Ozymandias.
Scenes from the king’s great Battle of Qadesh (in which only Ramesses II’s personal valor saved the Egyptians from ignominious defeat at the hands of the Hittites) adorn the first and second pylons.
The king’s successful campaign against the Syrian fortress of Dapur is illustrated in the hypostyle hall, along with images of the king receiving his regalia from the god Amun-Re.
The plan of the temple is typical for the New Kingdom. Behind the pylons are courts, and then a pillared hall filled with columns in the form of marsh plants, an finally a bark shrine for the sacred boat of the god and the inner sanctuary.
The floor rises and the ceiling drops as one enters the temple further, to evoke the moment in which the Egyptian universe was created from the primeval mound that rose from the endless waters of the flood.
The complex also includes a palace for the king and extensive storerooms and granaries built of mud brick.
A large quantity of ostraca found at the site has led scholars to suggest that a scribal school or library was located here, as mentioned by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus.
The Ramesseum Location and Directions
On the West Bank, opposite Luxor.
BY FERRY: From Luxor, there is a local ferry that runs from the Corniche, which is labeled “National Ferryboat.” You will have to catch a taxi once you reach the west bank.
BY BUS: You should be able to rent a minibus from Luxor, many are run through hotels or tour groups.
BY TAXI: Taxis from Luxor will be more expensive, but you can ask to go to el ramesseum from there, or take the ferry across to the west bank and catch a taxi from the dock.
Summer: 6 AM – 6 PM
Winter: 6 AM – 5 PM
Egyptian: 10 LE
Foreign: 80 LE
50% reduction for bearers of International Student ID Card
There is a rest house near the temple.