Colossi of Memnon

Colossi of Memnon

Colossi of Memnon are gigantic statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III.

These giant statues, facing the Nile and the rising sun, were placed to guard the Temple of Millions of Years, a sacred building that every pharaoh of the New Kingdom devoted to himself to affirm his own divine nature. In the lower part, next to the legs, there are statues of Pharaoh’s wife Tiy and his mother Mutemuia.

According to the legend, also corroborated by numerous historians, in 27 BC there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed one of the two giant statues. From that moment on, the other statue began to "sing" every morning at dawn, when the first rays of the sun illuminated its face.

The phenomenon was probably caused by an increase in temperature which vaporized the dew accumulated in the cracks of the stone, thus producing a sound similar to "music". At the beginning of the 3rd century, the Roman emperor Septimius Severus had restored the statues and the music stopped.
Each statue is 14 meters high and weighs 700 tons. If we add the pedestal on which each statue rests (each pedestal is 4 meters high and weighs 600 tons), each statue is 18 meters high, with a weight of 1300 tons.

The two colossi were carved from a single block of granite, probably from one of the Cairo mines, 675 kilometers from Luxor.

The two colossi depicting a seated Pharaoh Amenhotep III are certainly the most famous ones, but other statues, smaller in size, have been found in this area: a second pair of statues 15 meters high and a third pair, "only" 11 meters high. Today, the whole area of the funerary complex is being restored, including the temple of Amenhotep, which was completely razed to the ground by an earthquake that occurred in 1200 BC.

The visit to the Colossi of Memnon is FREE OF CHARGE.

Visit of these statues is usually included in all tourist offers and trips that visitors usually take through agencies.

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