The father of Ramesses II was Seti I. His , Ramesses I, is thought to have been
chosen by Horemheb as his successor. He was not of the
royal family, but like Horemheb came from the ranks of
the army. Horemheb reigned many years after he took the
throne of Tutankhamun and Ay. Ramesses I reigned only a
few years before handing the throne to Seti, however, it
was enough to firmly begin the Nineteenth Dynasty, The
Ramesses II had
many wives and concubines and over 100 children. He is
often said to be the Pharaoh of the Biblical Exodus,
however there are those who disagree (see the Weblinks and Related
He reigned for
sixty-seven years and built hundred of monuments. Two of
the most famous are the Ramesseum and Abu Simbel. He also
built at Karnak and Abydos and constructed a whole new
city in the Delta at Piramesse.
The tomb of his
favorite wife, Nefertari, is the most beautiful tomb in
the Valley of the Queens. It has recently been restored
and there is a daily limit on visitors.
multi-room tomb built for the burial of his sons was
found in the Valley of the Kings.
We visited the
Ramesseum in the early morning, although many recommend
that the ruin is at its best near sunset. We had the site
all to ourselves as the tour buses were busy elsewhere.
In fact, I recommend that strategy for all sites. Go
where there are no tour buses parked.
The birds were
twittering from their nests in the ruins and the sunlight
illuminated the remaining corridors and reliefs.