Hatshepsut Temple, Luxor

Deir el-Bahri, Hatshepsut’s Temple is located at Luxor, Egypt. Deir el-Bahari literally meaning, "The Northern Monastery.” It is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty. During the Eighteenth dynasty, Amenhotep I and Hatshepsut also built extensively at the site. The focal point of the Deir el-Bahari complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies", the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect of Hatshepsut (and believed by some to be her lover), to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun. The unusual form of Hatshepsut’s temple is explained by the choice of location, in the valley basin of Deir el-Bahari, surrounded by steep cliffs. It was here, in about 2050 BC, that Mentuhotep II, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, laid out his sloping, terrace-shaped mortuary temple. The pillared galleries at either side of the central ramp of the Djeser Djeseru correspond to the pillar positions on two successive levels of the Temple of Mentuhotep. Today the terraces of Deir el-Bahari only convey a faint impression of the original intentions of Senenmut. Most of the statue ornaments are missing – the statues of Osiris in front of the pillars of the upper colonnade, the sphinx avenues in front of the court, and the standing, sitting, and kneeling figures of Hatshepsut; these were destroyed in a posthumous condemnation of this pharaoh. The architecture of the temple has been considerably altered as a result of misguided reconstruction in the early twentieth century A.D.

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