Colossi of Memnon
There is no charge to visit the Colossi of Memnon to capture pictures, and most Luxor tour will make a stop here. A typical Luxor West Bank tour will pair the Colossi of Memnon with the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut, although there are many other fascinating sights across the river.
Some tours cover the West Bank and East Bank in one day, packing in Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, and perhaps even a shopping stop, but it’s worth allowing yourself a day for the West Bank and a day for the East, if time permits.
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Things to know before you go
- The Colossi of Memnon are a must for photographers, Instagrammers, and history buffs.
- While you can’t enter the excavations behind the statues, it’s sometimes possible to watch archaeologists in action.
- The terrain around the statues is flat and reasonably even, making the site easy to visit in a wheelchair or with a stroller.
How to get there
The Colossi of Memnon sit a mile or so (2 kilometers) inland from the West Bank of the Nile, opposite Luxor city, but the road journey takes considerably longer as the bridge is outside the city. There’s no public transport and Egyptian city traffic can be challenging, so consider joining a tour or booking a private driver/guide.
When to get there
The Colossi of Memnon are busy throughout the day. If photography is important to you, consider arriving at sunrise, when the light on the hills behind can be spectacular, and few other travelers will be around. If not, prioritize sites such as the Valley of the Kings and end your day at the statues instead.
Why Are the Statues Called the Colossi of Memnon?
While the statues commemorate Amenhotep III, who ruled Egypt around 1400 BC, they’re overwhelmingly known by their Roman name, the Colossi of Memnon. Around 1,000 years after Amenhotep died, ancient Greeks (and, later, Romans) decided that the statues commemorated an African warrior called Memnon, who was killed during the Trojan War. Colossi is the plural of colossus, which means “giant statue.”
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