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Architect unknown
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Location Karnak, Egypt   map
Date -1530 to -323   timeline
Building Type Egyptian temple
 Construction System bearing masonry, stone
Climate desert
Style Ancient Egyptian
Notes huge hypostyle hall, originally roofed with stone.


Photo, among the columns

Photo, wall detail

Photo, column detail



Plan Drawing


Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Perspective Drawing
3D Computer Model (DesignWorkshop format)
— Massing —
Model Viewing Instructions

3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

Model Viewing Instructions
Discussion Temple of Amon Commentary

"It is doubtful if any building yet designed has attained the dramatic power of the hypostyle hall of the Egyptian temple. Hypostyles—the Greek root means 'resting on columns'—were man-made stone forests separating the temple's open court, where festivals and ceremonies took place, from the sanctuary, to which only kings and priests were admitted. (Egyptian temples did not provide for congregational worship.) The processional path through the hypostyle was a preparatory passage from this world to the next.

"The hypostyle of the Temple of Amun, the most prodigious ever erected, was finished by Rameses II (d. 1225 B.C.) as an extension of an existing temple that had its origins a thousand years earler and had experienced additions throughout its long life. This stone bastion of 134 columns delimits one side of the temple's Great Court and measures 338 feet wide by 170 feet deep. The columns defining the processional aisle are 69 feet high, the others 42 feet, the difference in height filled by a stone grille or clerestory. The entire hypostyle was originally roofed with slabs of stone: the effect of columns vanishing into darkness must have been spellbinding. We can bow to it today.

"...Architecture has rarely produced such titanic theater."

— from G.E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p14.


134 columns, 338 feet wide, 170 feet deep. The columns along the processional ailse are 69 feet tall, and the others are 42 feet.

Sources on Temple of Amon

Howard Davis. Slides from photographer's collection. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. restored perspective drawing of site, fig a, p52. perspective drawing of roof aperture, fig d, p52. perspective drawing of hypostyle hall clearstory, fig b, p52. section perspective drawing of hypostyle hall, fig f, p52. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at Amazon.com

G.E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion, p14. photo amongst columns, p14.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. photo, p46. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. available at Amazon.com

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.—



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