It's hard to imagine Karnak Temple without the Great Hypostyle Hall.
It wasn't always there of course. We can thank the 19th Dynasty's Seti I for 'filling in' the great court created when his predecessor, King Horemheb constructed Karnak's Second Pylon.
During the 19th Dynasty - the era of Seti I and his son, Ramesses II - the Great Hypostyle Hall made a grand setting for royal coronations and jubilee festivals.
Most people are awed by the ancient forest of giant papyrus columns, 134 in all. However my 12-year-old son and I found that the columns were so huge and the area so vast that it made a great place to play 'hide-and-seek'!
Now, read on and learn more about the Great Hypostyle Hall in this article by Leslie Black:
"Karnak Temple, sprawling on the banks of the Nile at modern day Luxor must surely have presented a glorious scene to a traveller approaching it over 3000 years ago during the golden age of Egypt’s 19th dynasty.
Over the course of two millennia, a dazzling succession of Pharaohs endeavoured to stamp their mark upon the holy site, each striving to surpass the last until Karnak had grown from the small shrine of a relatively obscure local god to a vast compound representing the mighty empire of Egypt’s greatest religious institution.
In particular, the Great Hypostyle Hall situated near the centre of the complex, with its impossibly vast forest of columns, could not have done anything but prevail upon the observer a sense of awe and wonder.
The myriad of brightly-coloured inscriptions were illuminated in the dappled light from the slotted stone windows some 80 feet above. Strategically interwoven with scenes of “The Daily Ritual”, cartouches bear witness in sunken relief to the names of the illustrious Kings who founded and enhanced the holy sanctorium of 'The hidden one'."