Unlike Abu Simbel to the south, the passage of time has not been so kind to the Ramesseum, which has suffered from a mixture of both environmental and religiously-motivated destruction over the centuries. Nevertheless, the ruins of this memorial temple to Ramesses II offer a glimpse into the power and respect commanded by perhaps the greatest Pharaoh in Egyptian history. Never mind the fact that he is popularly believed to be the Pharaoh of the Biblical Exodus, the historically proven military triumphs of Ramesses II, along with his long life (90+ years), architectural accomplishments and storied love affair with Queen Nefertari make him a figure worthy of such a legendary reputation.
In the open-air museum you'll find countless statues celebrating the king (most of them defaced), as well as the Ozymandias Colossus which, when it was upright, stood 62 ft tall and weighed somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 tons. Did I mention it was carved out of a single piece of stone that was transported here from southern Egypt? Needless to say, this is definitely a cool historical experience, and more than a worthwhile addition to a tour of the nearby Valley of the Kings.