The Temple of Medinet Habu of Ramsis III
The Temple of Medinet Habu is one of Egypt's most significant memorial temples. It measures 320 m in length (east to west) and about 200 m in width (north to south). After Ramses III died, the temple was built to commemorate him, by orders of the current king himself. A vast mud brick enclosure wall surrounds the temple.
This building consists of a massive gate shaped like a Syrian fort and is decorated with battle scenes depicting the king's wars in Syria. Through the entrance to the right is a shrine dating back to the 18th Dynasty. A wide-open court also leads to a considerable pylon, with both towers decorated with battle scenes. On one tower, the king, wearing the red crown with his "Ka" or "double," smiting his enemies before Re-Horakhty. On the other tower, the king is represented with the red crown of Lower Egypt, smiting his enemies in front of the god Amon Ra.
The oxen hunt is one of the most beautiful scenes engraved on the back of the southern tower. It depicts Ramses III leading his chariot and hunting wild oxen. Here, you will notice that the sculptor was skilled in showing the pain of the wounded animals.
The 1st open court measures 42m long by 33m wide. Its walls are decorated with battle scenes depicting the war between the Syrians and the Libyans.
The 2nd courtyard (42m long by 38m wide) was converted into a basilica during early Christianity. However, scenes still represent religious ceremonies, especially the festival of the gods Sokker (also spelled Sokar) and Min. Other scenes represent the king, with the priests, making offerings to various deities.
The 1st Hypostyle is badly damaged, probably due to an earthquake in 27 B.C. It once contained 24 columns in 6 rows, surrounded by 16 chapels split evenly. The right side's four most essential shrines were the first one, dedicated to King Ramses III; the second chapel, which was dedicated to the god Ptah; the fourth chapel, which was consecrated for the boat of the god Sokker; and the chapel number 7 which was dedicated to the sacred vessel of the god Amon Ra.
The chapels on the left side stored the utensils of the temples, except for chapel 14, which was dedicated to the sacred boat of King Ramses II, and chapel 15, which was dedicated to the divine vessel of the god Month.
The 2nd Hypostyle hall contains eight papyrus columns in 2 rows. The 3rd Hypostyle hall is similar to the 2nd Hypostyle hall, and its ceiling is supported by eight columns in 2 rows.
At the end of this hypostyle hall, there are three entrances: the one in the center leads to the Sanctuary, where the sacred boat of Amon Ra was placed; the one to the right side leads to the chapel of the god Khonso while the of the left side leads to the chapel of the goddess Mut.
As mentioned before, the Sanctuary at the end of the temple consists of 3 chapels; it was dedicated to the “Triad of Thebes” and was surrounded by many side chambers.