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The temple of Ramses III in Medinet Habu

The temple of Ramses III in Medinet Habu was the last of the great funerary structures to be built in Western Thebes. It is currently the best-preserved monument on the west bank.

When erecting the building, the pharaoh modelled it on his predecessor - Ramses II the Great and his Ramesseum. The Temple of Ramesses III was built on the southern border of the necropolis, near the holy place of the Theban hill. It was there, according to tradition, that Amon appeared and the so-called Hermopolitan Ogdoad, a group of eight deities participating in the act of creating the world, rested.

Three gates lead to the temple area, two West and one East, which is the best-preserved gate. Richly decorated, it is a type of architecture unique to Egypt. It was modelled on the Middle Eastern gatehouse entrance, which was known as a migdol or migdal. These took the form of decorative towers. The Theban Gate, however, had a residential character and, together with the side wings, was part of a representative palace. The ruler resided in it during the holidays taking place in Western Thebes.

 

 

Medinet Habu is distinguished by the best-preserved temple palace in Thebes and the magnificent decorations of its first pylon and the courtyard. The reliefs show the victory of Ramses III. Inside the palace, on the northern wall, your attention is drawn to the Window of Appearances, in which the king sat during religious ceremonies. After the ruler's death, thanks to the false door (also known as “Ka doors”, as they allowed the Ka - an element of the soul, to pass through them) placed in the back wall of the throne room, the pharaoh's spiritual form was able to penetrate from the tomb to the palace and participate in sacrificial activities.

The decoration of the second courtyard is dedicated to the celebration of feasts in honor of Min (god of harvest) and Sokaris (ruler of the state of the dead), as well as the Beautiful Festival of the Valley. Unfortunately, as in many other places in the area of Thebes, here also the Copts, or Egyptian Christians, wreaked havoc. To make room for the construction of the church, they destroyed statues and forged crosses on the walls of the temple.

The complex in Medinet Habu also includes residential buildings for priests, administrative buildings, barracks, stables, ponds and gardens.