The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III is located near Medinet Habu. It was a fortified location with walls that encircled Hatshepsut’s earlier Temple of Amun and the Mortuary Temple of Divine Adoratrice of Amun. A palace adjacent to the temple was likewise encircled by the walls. Ramesses III is supposed to have resided at the palace and had his funerary temple erected before his death. The Temple of Amun’s Divine Adortrices was dedicated to the numerous deceased daughters of Pharaohs who served in this religious capacity.
The yearly pilgrimage of the Karnak Barque of Amun, which was brought in procession from Karnak to the Temple of Luxor and then across the Nile to this temple, took place at the Temple of Amun. Every 10 days, Amun of Luxor (Luxor Temple) went to and from the Temple of Amun at Medinet Habu, probably to coincide with the start of each “decan” as shown by the star charts. These processions were made easier by a canal and a boat landing. Ramesses III is said to have died in the upper chambers of the gate. He is said to have been assassinated in a royal plot.
The temple itself has three courts, as is customary. The first is the most public and profane, requiring higher levels of purity for entrance to the second and the greatest levels of purification for entry to the third. The paintings on the first and second court walls are still painted with color. As the Temple was fortified over the ages, it was claimed by numerous factions. Many of the murals were preserved by covering them with whitewash or plaster.