Effectively down the road and up the next valley from Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens tends to be a little less crowded but no less interesting. It is slightly misleadingly named, for although there are a number of 19th- and 20th-dynasty queens buried here (previous to this, queens tended to be buried with their husbands), there are also other family members as well as some high officials.
At the time of writing, only three tombs were officially open, and only two of these were accessible to tourists. The Tomb of Nefertari is the crown jewel of the Valley of the Queens, and is both the largest the most elaborately decorated of the tombs here, with walls covered in stunning paintings commissioned by Ramses II to honor his favorite wife (he had four others). Though cash will open the door for a few minutes, the tomb is now effectively closed to most tourists. Though it was open between 1995 and 2003, only 150 tickets were sold a day and these sold out within minutes of the office opening at 6am, testimony to the effect of the multiple images of one of only two queens to be deified in her own lifetime.
The Tomb of Khaemwaset belongs to one of Ramses III's sons and is worth visiting for the reliefs showing his father introducing him to the gods. The Tomb of Amunherkhepshef was for another of Ramses III's sons, who died when he was 10. Note the touching scenes of the father introducing his son to the gods who will guide him through his afterlife, including a relief of the meeting with Anubis.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010
- Westbank, Egypt
- West Bank
- Winter 7am-5pm; summer 6am-7pm
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