The two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III who ruled Egypt during the 18th dynasty are called “Colossi of Memnon”. They are located in the west of Luxor and directly face the Nile River. They are 18 meters high & each one of them weighs more than 720 tons and they depict the seated king on his throne with some imagery of his mother, his wife, the god Hapy, and other symbol engraved upon the statues. Through our article, you will know:
Colossi Of Memnon
- 1. Why is Called the Colossi of Memnon?
- 2. What Was the Colossi of Memnon Used For?
- 3. Amenhotep III and the Glory of Egypt
- 4. The Mortuary Complex of Amenhotep III
- 5. The Sound Phenomenon for Colossi of Memnon
- 6. Facts About Colossi of Memnon
What Is The Reason Behind The Name?
The two statues of Amenhotep III were named after the Greek hero Memnon who was an Ethiopian king and eventually he was killed in a battle by Achilles. Because of Memnon’s courage in his battles, his name was used to dedicate his memory through calling the two statues of Amenhotep III “Colossi of Memnon” after collecting the parts of the statue once more as in 27 BC, an earthquake shattered the two colossi and they had to be gathered together again.
There is an ancient belief that is closely associated with these two statues. According to Greek Mythology, Memnon, the Greek hero was the son of the goddess of Dawn, Eos. Some explain the sound that comes out of the cracks of the statues is actually the sound of Memnon crying to his mother and this phenomenon attracts tourists from all parts of the world to witness.
What Was The Colossi of Memnon Used For?
The two massive statues of Amenhotep III were mainly built as a gate to the large mortuary complex of Amenhotep III. Some natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and other events led to the disappearance of the whole complex in addition to the fact that Ancient Egyptians used some of the monuments of the complex to build other attractions.
Amenhotep III and The Glory of Egypt
Pharaoh Amenhotep III reached the throne of Egypt at the age of twelve and during his reign, Egypt reached a state of wealth and prosperity. He followed the way of the majority of pharaohs in establishing great buildings and Egyptian monuments and that led him to establish over 250 buildings, temples, statuaries, and stele.
Amenhotep III improved upon his father’s great policies of rule and religion throughout his ruling period. He was a supporter of the ancient religion of Egypt and expressed his interest in the patronage of the arts and in building projects and among his most magnificent achievements was his mortuary temple complex which included the unique Colossi of Memnon.
The Mortuary Complex of Amenhotep III
During the construction of Amenhotep’s complex, it was intended to be more inspiring than any other complexes including the Great Karnak Temples. It used to cover over 86 acres and included a lot of rooms, halls, porticos, and plateaus which mirrored the vision of the field of reeds, the Egyptian paradise. Amenhotep III closely associated himself with Osiris, who was the first king of Egypt and the Lord and Judge of the Dead.
The two statues of Amenhotep III were carved from single blocks of quartzite sandstone. The way of moving the stones to build the two statues is unknown but it must have been similar to the same way of transferring the stones used in building the pyramids of Giza. The base of the two statues depicts the mother of Amenhotep III “Mutemwiya” and wife “Tiye” on the front and “Hapy”, the god of the Nile, on the side and all of the three symbolized rebirth.
The Sound Phenomenon for Colossi of Memnon
Because of the earthquake that causes the damage in the northern part of the statues, there has always been a sound of singing like the sound of a lyre. As a result, every dawn, there is a singing sound comes out of the statues. To repair the damage that happened to Amenhotep’s statues, there had to be some specific procedures to save them from collapsing & vanishing just like Amenhotep’s complex.
Interesting Facts About Colossi of Memnon
- The Two statues of Amenhotep III are known to the locals as Es-Salamat or El-Colossat.
- They were erected in 1350 BC in the Theban Necropolis along the Nile River near Aswan.
- Colossi of Memnon were carved out of the quartzite sandstone from El Gabal El-Ahmar.
- They were built as guards to a Theban temple when he was considered as a living god on earth.
- There is a legend closely associated with the statues which are that a moaning sound can be heard when the sun’s rays hit them in an early morning, which was thought to be the sound of King calling his mother. That sound is believed to have disappeared when the Romans attempted to repair the pieces.
Reach for the Stars with Our Variety of Egypt Tours
Enjoy some of our best Egypt vacation packages to witness the greatness of the Egyptian civilization while visiting the majestic landmarks in the tiptop Egyptian destinations including day tours to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, in addition to the most recommended Egypt Nile cruises packages to enjoy some of our incredible tours.
Great vacation for 4 days in Cairo Egypt accompanied by an e...
4 Days / 3 Nights
An Incredible 5 days Cairo & Alexandria tour package to expl...
5 Days / 4 Nights
Our 6 days in Egypt itinerary your best way to spend just an...
6 Days / 5 Nights
What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.