Valley of the Kings – Colossi of Memnon – Temple of Hatshepsut
In a hurry, as always, here is the last day of the trip along the Nile, awoke at dawn to visit the Valley of the Kings.
We are on our arrival in the area greeted by twin statues of the two “Colossi of Memnon” which represent Amenhotep III in a seated position with hands resting on his knees.
In addition to some balloons already waiting for customers, I suppose, the rising sun, and was immediately a great image to be fixed.
Nearby, a few kilometers, spring up here in front of the complex of Deir el-Bahri, Valley of the Queens and then finally the Valley of the Kings
Although we woke up at 5 am there is no way to be in the Valley of the Kings before the thousands of tourists, and the sun was already hot and high.
Outside nothing special, a valley in the desert, nothing that is worth capturing.
What is amazing, literally unbelievable, are the 63 tombs excavated in the valley, hidden, and is strictly forbidden to photograph the interior. Even bring any camera inside the tombs.
The paintings that adorn the interior walls of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings are one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, no pictures of course, but it could be different.
You could spend months visiting the Valley of the Kings, but we continue in order.
The Colossi of Memnon are statues made of sandstone blocks, a quartzite of sedimentary origin that comes from the quarry in El-Gabal el-Ahmar and was transported by land, without the use of the Nile, up to Thebes.
They are too heavy for transportation on the Nile. Including the stone platforms on which they stand, they reach an impressive height of 18 meters.
Their weigh is about 700 tons each.
Two smaller figures then Amenhotep III are carved on the front, next to the legs, these are: his children, his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya.
The side panels represent the Nile god Hapi.
Because of a break, one of these statues gained fame singing every morning at dawn. Perhaps the sound was caused by the temperature and the evaporation of dew inside the porous rock.
The legend of the singing, and fortune that led to those who heard him, also increased the reputation of the statue’s oracular powers.
A steady stream of visitors came from all over the known world, including several Roman emperors.
The mysterious vocalizations of the broken colossus, however, stopped in 199 A.D. when the emperor Septimius Severus, in an attempt to ingratiate himself with the oracle, reassembled the two halves apart.
Deir el-Bahri is a large complex of temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor.
Today the terraces of Deir el-Bahri can only give a pale idea of the original intentions.
Most of the ornaments of the statues are missing, the statues of Osiris front, the pillars of the colonnade above, the avenues of sphinxes in front of the court, the figures of Hatshepsut, have been ruined in a posthumous condemnation of this pharaoh.
The architecture of the temple has been significantly amended following the reconstruction done wrong in the early twentieth century.
The focal point of the complex of Deir el-Bahri is the Temple of Hatshepsut.
This is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and built by Senemut, architect of Hatshepsut, considered by some her lover.
Would serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun.
A series of colonnaded terraces, reached by long flights, once adorned with gardens.
The complex is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above, and is widely considered one of the finest monuments of ancient Egypt.
In 1997, 58 tourists and four Egyptians were massacred by Islamic terrorists, right here.
Continuing on the same side of the Nile, the west bank, the bank of the sunset, of the dead, you finally see first the Valley of the Queens, then the Valley of the Kings.
For a period of almost 500 years, from the sixteenth to eleventh century B.C., tombs were built for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom.
With the discovery in 2005 of a new chamber, the valley now contains 63 tombs, the main burial place of the most important families of the Egyptian New Kingdom.
The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give lots of information about the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period.
Almost all the graves were opened and plundered in antiquity, but still give an idea of wealth and power of the rulers of that period.
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