Medinet Habu contains the Temple of Ramesses III, the best preserved Theban monument with many colorful bas-reliefs and few crowds. It’s not on the classic tourist itinerary and we didn’t visit it the first time we went to Luxor. But we had more time the second time around and it was one of my favorite places.
For more posts about sites in Luxor, go here.
In ancient times the site was called Tjamet and ancient Egyptians believed the god Amun first appeared here. In the 20th Dynasty this area was an administrative center for Western Thebes. It was also a site for Graeco-Roman structures and the Coptic city of Djeme.
One cool thing from the temple complex are the very deep carvings. Deep carvings made it harder for future rulers to chisel away the work.
In various walls you can see deep holes used for Coptic church beams and deep slashes from the Romans sharpening their weapons.
On one wall you see many prisoners being counted. One hand was cut off each person as a counting method. The scene also shows men having their penises cut off to count them.
Throughout the complex you can see the bee next to a plant. These stand for Lower and Upper Egypt respectively. You also can find a vulture (for Upper Egypt) next to a cobra (Lower Egypt).
Paint in many places is still very vibrant. I loved walking around looking up at the columns and ceilings to see the paint. In the Hall of Columns you can find a painted design that used to be covered in jewels (they were stolen).
I also really enjoyed the carving of the Ibis-headed god Thot. He is god of knowledge and wisdom and the scriber of deities.
There was also a long wall covered in numbers. 1= | 10= n 100=curl.
This is a great spot because it is less crowded than many others as tourists doing cruises only do Valley of the Kings and Hetshepsut’s Temple.
Location: West Bank. We visited the Valley of the Kings first, then Deir el Medina (worker’s village), and then Medinet Habu.
Cost: 80le (as of Nov 2018)
Camera Fee: None
Bathrooms: We used the bathroom at the restaurant right across from the entrance after getting a drink there. Prepare to tip (2le).
Food and Drink: It was lunchtime when we arrived. We had brought lunch (tuna packets, crackers, apples) and were able to eat at the tables at the restaurant if we bought drinks. So I bought water and my cousins bought soda and the restaurant was fine with that. Beverages were very cheap (I think about 60le for all 3 drinks–or about $3.30 total)
Stroller Friendly: The complex is mostly all one level with a few steps here and there. If your stroller can handle off roading, it will be fine.
Kid Friendly: We did not have our kids on this trip, but they would have loved it. Very few people and plenty of space to run around. Plus lots of colorful reliefs and cool artwork.