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Hall of Columns, Karnak
[Photographic views taken in Egypt and Greece by C. G. Fontaine]
40.7 x 32.6 cm (image)
The Royal Collection
View through the Great Hypostyle Hall of the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak with, framed by columns and their architrave, a fallen column leaning onto another and the silhouette of a seated local man. The hall, built Rameses II (1279-1213 BC), covers an area of over half a hectare. Karnak, near modern Luxor, is a large complex of religious buildings covering an area of over one hundred hectares. It consists of three major sacred precincts dedicated to Amun-Re (the largest of the three), Mut and Montu, but it also includes other structures built both inside and outside the various precincts. It was built and continually extended and embellished by Egyptian rulers from at least the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) until the Roman period (30 BC-AD 395) but most of its surviving structures date from the second half of the second millenium BC, resulting in Karnak being the largest and best-preserved temple complex of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC).
Acquired by King Edward VII when Prince of Wales