About the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor
With so many various ancient historical sites and monuments, the city of Luxor is one of the richest archeological destinations in the world. However, there are some major highlights in Luxor that a tourist spending his vacation in Egypt must visit. This of course includes the famous Colossi of Memnon.
Away from being the only remaining parts of a huge elegant mortuary temple constructed by Amenhotep III in the 14th century BC, these two huge statues of the king have their own type of magic. Visiting the two colossi of Memnon and taking photographs in front of them is included almost in all classical travel packages to Egypt that contains a visit to Luxor.
Geographical Location of the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor
Situated in a very special location in the West Bank of Luxor, the Colossi of Memnon is situated in the beginning of the way leading to all the important monuments including the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Queen, the Ramesseum, and the Temple of Ramses II of Madinet Habu.
The travelers spending their vacations in Egypt can reach the Colossi of Memnon by using the public ferry from the East Bank, or a private motor boat, or by a car that would take the new Luxor Bridge situated about 8 kilometers to the south of the center of the city of Luxor.
Luxor is located around 700 kilometers to the North of Cairo, the Egyptian capital, 300 kilometers to the South West of Hurghada, 60 kilometers to the South of Qena, and 220 kilometers to the North of the wonderful city of Aswan.
The Builder of the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor
The builder of the Colossi of Memnon and the whole funerary complex was the king Amenhotep III. He was the ninth Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt. Amenhotep III ruled Egypt in the period between 1391 and 1353 BC.
Since Amenhotep III was interested in sports like hunting, during his first few years of his reign, he gave little attention to military campaigns. However, there were some rebels that emerged in Southern Egypt near Nubia. The king was able to defeat them easily and then afterwards he took control of other sections of the country until he reached the fourth cataract in Nubia.
Amenhotep III has constructed many monuments around Egypt. This includes a large complete temple in Thebes that was destroyed afterwards, a complex in the Karnak Temple, and another temple for the god Mut. There were also some ruins that were found in Delta, Banha, Memphis, and Giza.
The History of the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor
The most important construction of the king Amenhotep III is the colossi of Memnon that are located in the West Bank of Luxor. Both of these huge statues were built out of one piece of sandstone and they are more than 20 meters in height.
The Colossi of Memnon used to ornament the entrance and the facade of a huge mortuary temple that was completely damaged. However, historians and scholars were never able to realize the exact year when was the temple destroyed.
When an earthquake hit Egypt in the year 27 BC, the whole area of ancient Thebes was affected. This resulted in a huge break in the middle of the Northern statue of the colossi of Memnon. The statue afterwards started producing some sound vibes during the dawn period each morning.
After a short period the legend said that this statue is commiserating the death of the mother of the great Greek warrior Memnon who was killed during the Troy wars. This was why these ancient huge statues were called the colossi of Memnon.
Due to the fame the Colossi of Memnon gained in the ancient times all around the world, many tourists used to come to view these two huge statues. This included the Roman Emperor Hardones and his wife who visited Luxor in the year 130 AD.
The Colossi of Memnon in Luxor Today
Many travelers spending their holidays in Egypt would surly pay the colossi of Memnon a visit when they spend some time in Luxor. Today many busses surround the two huge ancient statues to take pictures with this large great monument.
Each statue of the Colossi of Memnon is exactly 19.5 meters in height and each statue weighs around 700 tons. These statues represent the king Amenhotep III sitting on the throne of Egypt wearing the crown of the king who is sitting on the throne. To the right of each statue, there is the queen Ti and to the left there is the statue of the mother of the king the Queen Mut Emya.
The sides of the throne chairs of the two statues have some scenes of the Delta of Egypt with the papyrus and the lotus plants. Above these scenes, there is the name of the king and his titles. On the legs of the statues, there are some Greek inscriptions telling the story of the two huge statues.
In the year 2014, some stone pieces of stones that belong to the Northern statue of the Colossi of Memnon were discovered in the Temple of Amenhotep III in the West Bank, located near the Temple of Hatshepsut. These stones include some quartz representing the lost parts of the arm of the northern statue. Moreover, the Egyptian government is now working in a mission to unearth the rest of the lost parts of the Colossi of Memnon.