This building served as the mortuary temple of Ramesses II (XIX dynastia). The ruins lie at the bottom of the necropolis, right on the border of arable fields.
During the floods, the waters of the Nile almost approached the feet of the object, and sometimes they even flooded some, causing the destruction of the monument.
This "house of millions of years of Usermaatre Setepenre.", which unites with the city of Thebes in the domain of Amun ", as the Egyptians called it, or Chnem-Uaset, was built right after the construction of a similar temple by father Ramesses II-Seti I. Completed in 22. the year of the reign of Pharaoh. The building plan inspired Medinet Habu, temple-palace of Ramesses III (XX dynastia). During the reign of the XXII Dynasty, the Ramesseum area was turned into a necropolis for priests and priestesses. Later, stones were selected from the increasingly ruined building for the construction of other sanctuaries. Diodorus Siculus called them the tomb of Ozymandias, for the throne name of Ramses has survived in this form: Usermaatre Setepenre. Then the Ramesseum was turned into a Christian church. After centuries, the building was rediscovered by members of the Napoleonic expedition, and nineteenth-century travelers called it Mnemonium. The current name was given by J.F. Champollion. The discoverers treated the ruins as a great storehouse of monuments, of which as many as possible should be brought to European museums. And so Giovanni Battista Belzoni transported the seven-ton head of Ramses from the Ramesseum strewn with sands (the so-called. young Memnon) do British Museum. The romantic ruins were immortalized by the English poet Percy B.. Shelley, who, influenced by a visit to the museum, wrote the poem Ozymandias.
Ramses II took the throne from his father at a very young age. While still being a co-regent, he was concerned about Seti's plans. One of these undertakings was the erection of the Ramesseum, started in the second year of his reign.
It may be surprising, that such a significant object does not enjoy the attention of tourists. If you like to see sights on the go, half an hour is enough for sightseeing.
In the nearby Ramasseum Resthouse you can buy drinks, snacks and use the toilet. Only the ruins of the main temple remain from the entire complex. It is now entered from the north side of the facility, straight to the second courtyard. But to understand the layout of the whole, it should be described in its former shape.
The facade faces the Nile. A pylon barred the road to the southeast, but the annual floods partially destroyed it. The outer walls of the pylon are covered with traditional reliefs with Ramses standing before various gods. The inner walls decorate the scenes of the Battle of Kadesh. The first courtyard used to have a two-column portico on the south side, behind which a small royal palace opened. On the west side of the first courtyard stood the great colossi of Ramses II (ok. 20 m), knocked down and smashed to pieces by an earthquake in the early 2nd century. Kolos, about the height of a five-story building, he was perhaps the largest free-standing statue in all of Egypt. It is enough to look at the sizes of the preserved feet of the pharaoh! A giant stone for a statue (ok. 1000 your) brought from the quarries in Aswan.
The second pylon is fragmentary. The North Tower tells the story of the Battle of Kadesh again (Inner page). A king on a chariot with a tamed lion attacks a Syrian fort. Commander of Aleppo, Hittite chief, flees from Ramses across the Orontes River. The reliefs in the upper parts show scenes from Saint Mina. The second courtyard is much higher than the first. It used to be surrounded by two rows of columns (only the bases survived). Right behind the second pylon stands a row of four massive Osirian pillars depicting Ramses as the god Osiris. There's a head next to it, once belonging to one of the two standing giants, and near the torso. The feet have been preserved in their original place, on the other side of the pylon. On the right shoulder you can see the cartouche with the throne name of the pharaoh and the title "ruler of rulers". During the quake, the giant statues split in two, and their upper parts flew over the collapsing pylon and fell into the second courtyard. Today the entrance to the Ramcsseum ruins is from the north side of the second courtyard. Visitors are stunned by the enormity of the lying sculpture with a shoulder span of up to 7 m. On the opposite side of the courtyard, right in front of the temple proper, lies the overturned smaller colossus of Ramses II, broken into many fragments (northern statue). Originally, there were two colossi in front of the temple. Second (the so-called. young Memnon) was taken to England in 1816 r.
There were three ramps leading inside the temple, passing through the portico with Osirian pillars. On the back wall of the portico, reliefs show the king making sacrifices to the gods (m.in. Atum and Montu, and above Ptah and Min) and bearing the symbols of the holiday Sed (jubilee of the 30th anniversary of reign) before the Theban Triad (on the right). Atum was the god of Heliopolis (Lower Egypt), and Montu – Hermonthis (Upper Egypt). In this way, Pharaoh symbolically made sacrifices to all the gods of Egypt. says, god of writing and magic, writes the name of the pharaoh on a palm leaf, that it may exist for eternity (in the middle). It was carved next to my father 11 his sons. Neither of them became pharaoh after Ramses, because they lived less than my father, and the thirteenth son and heir had not yet been born.
Three doors lead to the hypostyle room, whose ceiling once supported 48 elegant papyrus columns (only left 29). They have recently undergone conservation, to show the original colors and the decorations that cover them. Many have preserved colorful polychromes. The columns divide the hall into aisles. The higher ones have papyrus shafts, and the lotus-shaped capitals support the ceiling of the upper nave. The capitals of the lower columns resemble the buds of papyrus flowers. The light came in through the small windows above the lower aisles. On the eastern wall, on the left – right after entering the hall – the victories of Ramses are seen: the Battle of Tunip and the capture of the Syrian city of Dapur in the eighth year of reign. There is also a royal mother on this wall – Tuja, his wife Nefertari and several children. In the center of the hypostyle room, the ceiling has been preserved.
On the back wall of the hall, Ramses performs religious ceremonies. Here, too, the goddess Sekhmet presents Ramses to Amon sitting on the throne, who gives him the sign of life – also.
Descendants of Ramses can be seen in the lower register, and high on the jamb on the right side you can see the names of the first seekers: Belzoniego i Henry’ego Salta.
The temple of the mother of Ramesses II once adjoined the right wall of the hypostyle hall – Foreign (only the remains of the walls and pieces of columns remained).
From the hypostyle, the road leads to the hall to the sacred barge and the sanctuary. This room is also known as the Astronomical Vestibule, and some do, that it was a library for sacred texts. Its purpose is indicated by the images on the entrance wall of the barges of the Theban Triad (Amona, Mut i Chonsu), as well as Ramses and Nefertari carried by priests. On the back wall you can see Ramses under a persea tree with Atum, Seshat and Thoth. There are also reliefs depicting, among others. Beautiful Valley Festival. Above all hangs an astronomical ceiling with the constellations and 36 decanal stars in the night sky. The king offered to the gods – patrons of individual months -12-month lunar calendar, used in the dating calculations of the religious world. The same ceiling will be copied in the temple at Medinet Habu by King Ramses III. A door from the Astronomical Room leads to a small room called the Litany Room, in which kings performed libations and burned incense for Re-Horachte and Ptah and other gods. The architrave depicts three decanal stars, five planets and nine kneeling gods, northern lords of constellations surrounded by sacred texts.
Then there are ruined sanctuaries, perhaps dedicated to Amon, the deified Ramses and his ancestors. Some of the blocks were taken from here during the rebuilding of Medinet Habu during the reign of King Hakoris (XXIX dynastia). The complex also included numerous mud brick warehouses, which, paradoxically, are in quite good shape. The arched vaults of the building have survived in many warehouses. The entire complex was surrounded by a wall of mud bricks.