Colossi of Memnom Approx. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate

On the West Bank of Luxor, the Colossi of Memnon is a great piece of architecture facing the Nile. Amenhotep III (18th Dyn) built a mortuary temple in Thebes that was guarded by two gigantic statues on the outer gates. All that remains now are the 19.5m statues of Amenhotep. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive. Long after Amenhotep the Greeks decided that the statue represented their hero, Memnon, son of Tithonus, and Eos, who fought in defense of Troy and was slain by Achilles. The north statues, of Amenhotep's mother Mutemuia and Queen Tiy, were shattered by an earthquake. The fallen remains produced a musical sound under certain weather conditions. The Eqyptians thought that this music came directly from the gods. To be granted a song meant that you were very much in favor of the gods. Visitors came from miles around to hear the music, including Emperor Hadrian, in 130 A.D. The music stopped in 199 A.D. when the statue was repaired.

Courtesy of Egypt Tourism Board