0700-1800 daily summer
While not as impressive as the Ramesseum, the mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, known as Medinet Habu, is enormous -- only the sprawling Temple of Karnak is larger -- and in quite good repair. Medinet Habu is modelled after the Ramesseum. The mudbrick walls that surround the temple once protected the entire population of Thebes from LIbyan invaders in the 20th Dynasty.
The temple also acted as an adminsitrative center for Thebes. The temple was originally entered from a huge manmade quay, where boats could travel from the nile to dock near the temple gate. The orginal gateway is very odd looking -- very non-pharaonic, much more like an Assyrian fortress. The gatehouse itself was used as a pavillion by the pharaoh himself.
Only a few fragments of the mudbrick enclosure walls remain around the temple. The corners are rounded and the gatehouse entrance to the temple leads to a large open courtyard with a small temple and sacred lake. THe gate is offset from the temple itself, with the enormous first pylon -- missing only a cornice and one corner.
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