The First Pylon of Luxor Temple
The Luxor Temple is fronted by a 24m high and 65m wide pylon of Ramses II. The outer walls of the pylon are decorated by sunk relief representing the Battle of Kadesh between King Ramses II and the Hittites of Syria in the 5th year of his reign. The Western Tower (right) represents the King holding a conference with his advisors in his tent. Nearby, he is shown driving a war chariot into the battle. While the Eastern Tower (left) represents the Battle of Kadesh and Ramses II still in his chariot hurling arrows at the surrounding enemies, dead and wounded lie beneath his feet and the enemy flee, in confusion to the fortress of Kadesh. On the jambs of the gateway, Ramses II stands before Amun and Amunet. Other later kings, particularly those of the Nubian Dynasty, also recorded their military victories on these walls (Shabaka on the inner pylon walls).
The pylon towers once supported four enormous cedar-wood flag masts from which pennants streamed. In front of the pylon two obelisks were erected, the one still standing there is the eastern one. It is about 25m high and 256 tons weight. The other one removed in 1836 by Mohamed Ali Pasha to be sent as a gift to France in exchange for the clock in the Citadel. It is now standing in "La Place de la Concord" in Paris. It measures 22.5m in height and weighs 227 tons. Each obelisk was erected on a base with four baboons representing the adorers of the son. Also in front of the pylon, there were six colossal statues of Ramses II, two of them seated, once flanked the entrance, today only the two seated ones have survived. The seated statue on the left shows one princess and Queen Nefertari, carved in a much smaller scale between the King’s legs. The throne of the King is decorated with the Nile gods binding together the Two Lands of Egypt.
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