Sunday, 10 February 2013

Queen Hatshepsut's Temple

Hatshepsut's futuristic monument
Friday 4 January: Hiking back from the Valley of the Kings I traverse the high cliff-top path above Hatshepsut's grand mortuary temple. Not for the faint-hearted, there's no fence so you can creep close to the edge for superb birds-eye views of both Hatshepsut's Temple and the adjacent ruinous Temple of Montuhotep II below. Based in Thebes and founder of the Middle Kingdom, the 11th dynasty ruler, Montuhotep was the first Egyptian king to be buried in the West Bank, about 4,020 years ago.
Taking the steeper of several paths down I find myself inside the ticket office precinct, for free, but it's well past lunchtime so I exit to the Ramesseum Rest House for a bite to eat before heading home.
Tuesday 8: This morning, en-route to the Valley of the Kings, I buy a ticket and take time to look around Hapshepsut's magnificent colonnaded three-tier temple. The lush gardens and avenue of sphinxes have gone but the wide approach ramp remains leading to the upper terraces where a few images of Hatshepsut are still in place, complete with false-beard, most having been erased by her successors.
It remains an awesome place especially considering it was built around 3,480 years ago during the powerful queen's 21-year long, 18th dynasty New Kingdom, reign.
From here I continue up over the mountain again for my second visit to the Valley of the Kings.
Slideshow of Queen Hatshepsut's Temple.

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