Colossi of Memnon

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
Colossi of Memnon
are special

These twin 3,400-year-old imposing statues once stood guard at the gateway of an immense temple complex.

Colossi of Memnon
tips and insights

Statues in brief



They are as high as a modern five-story building (see tourists in photo).


Each was sculpted out of a single stone block quarried from afar.


They've lost their faces and much of their upper-body detail.


The Colossi of Memnon gained their name when ancient Greeks mistakenly thought they depicted Memnon, a non-Egyptian. He's the hero king who was famously slain in the Trojan War by Achilles.

The correct subject is the powerful 14th century Pharoah Amonhotep III for whom the temple was built.

Temple status

The elements including Nile floods took their toll. So did subsequent rulers who stripped the site for construction materials for new structures. Little remains today except for the Colossi of Memnon. You hardly see more than items like headless sphinxes and scattered building fragments.

Visit length

Most visitors drop by for about 15 minutes on their way to the Valley of the Kings wonder.

Best photo time

Shoot the colossi in the low-angled, warm-toned early morning sunlight.

Location in Egypt

Read about each of Egypt's top 7

Pyramids of Egypt at Giza
Karnak Temple
Nile River Cruise
Egyptian Museum
Valley of the Kings
Abu Simbel
Luxor Temple


Photo by Steve Cameron - CC BY-SA 2.0



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