Madinat Habu

Madinat Habu is one of Egypt's best preserved and most interesting temples. Unfortunately, most tourists arrive here at the end of along morning of sightseeing and rarely get more than a quick peek at this fascinating monument. The temple deserves better. It is one of the few monuments in Egypt to convey the emotional impact that religious art and architecture must have had for the ancient Egyptian.

The site of Mediant Habu lies at the southern end of the Theban Necropolis and is surrounded by a  thick wall .

Its name in Arabic and means" The City of Habu" perhaps a reference to the great Dynasty 18 architect, amenhetep, son of Habu, whose memorial temple lies 300 meters to the north.

The Medinat Habu enclosure is home to several monuments, but by far the best known and most studied is the memorial temple of Rameses III. It is also one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. It was known in ancient Egypt as the Mansion of Millions of Years of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt User-Ma'at-Ra-Mery-Amen in the Estate of Amen on the west of Thebes.

The Temple of Rameses III is one of the few temples in Egypt to be completely excavated and published. Since 1927, the Oriental institute of the University of Chicago has worked here, excavating and mapping the site from 1927 to 1937 and recording its scenes and inscription from 1924 onward. Because large parts of its ceiling have been preserved, its justly famous decoration was protected from wind and rain and still displays much of its original paint, giving visitors a taste of what the temple originally looked like, with bright, vividly colored –even-gaudy-scenes of religious ceremonies and historical events.

Two gates pierced the Habu enclosure walls. On the west side, at the rear of the temple, a stone gate that is now blocked was used by temple employees, delivery men, and the minor officials. The gate on the east side was the grand processional entrance, and it is one used by tourists today.