Barque Temple of Ramesses III

Barque Temple of Ramesses III

The Temple of Ramesses III, also known as the Barque Temple of Ramesses III, is a barque-chapel complex located south of the second pylon of the Karnak Temple

Location of Barque Temple of Ramesses III


Building activity at Karnak at the start of the 20th Dynasty showed no signs of slowing down. During his reign, Ramesses III added his bark shrine to the area in front of the temple, opposite that of Seti II. This shrine took shape and size of a small temple, including a small pylon, a court with colossal statue pillars, a hypostyle hall, and a sanctuary. 

Ramesses III (1184–1153 BC) built a bark shrine south of the second pylon, later enclosed by the courtyard constructed by Pharaoh Shoshenq I (943-922 BC). 


Although more minor in size, the barque-chapel of Ramesses III follows the standard rectilinear pattern of ancient Egyptian temples, emphasising moving from the dark, low inner chamber to broad open courts fronted by a massive pylon. 

This nearly 200-foot-long temple features three bark chapels, a hypostyle hall of eight columns, a vestibule with four columns, and an open court. 

Pylon Facade 

The facade or the pylon of the smaller barque temple of Ramesses III lies within the first court of the main Karnak Temple, towards the south-west. This area was later enclosed by the courtyard constructed by Pharaoh Shoshenq I (943-922 BCE).

The shrine’s entrance was fronted by a small pylon adorned with scenes of the king smiting his enemies, and two six-meter statues carved from red sandstone flanked the doorway.


The first court is lined with eight Osiride statues of the king, with those to the west wearing the crown of the red crown of the south, while those on the east, the while crown of the north. The Osiride statues on the west hold the hek sceptre on the left and the nekhakha sceptre on their right. 

The statues of Ramses III in this court are depicted in his Jubilee vestments. Jubilees were typically celebrated in the 30th year of a pharaoh’s reign and every five years. 

Beyond the court is a vestibule also fronted by Osiride pillars leading into a small hypostyle hall which in turn leads into three chapels for the barques of Karnak.