Dubbed the "Gateway to the Afterlife," the Valley of the Kings is home to some of the most magnificent monuments in Egypt. Visiting this Luxor destination is a must for lovers of the country’s ancient history, back when pharaohs ruled this land. It has 62 tombs of rulers and officials from the New Kingdom, and maybe there are more just waiting to be discovered.
The most famous monuments in this majestic place are the tombs of Ramesses VI, Seti I, and Tutankhamun. Egyptian burial rituals are intricate, so visitors will be welcomed by lots of artifacts and awe-inspiring hieroglyphs. The burial chambers of non-royals are adorned with magnificent decorations, more so the tombs of the pharaohs. The Valley of the Kings is teeming with grandeur in every corner that anyone should be excited to see.
10 Tomb Of Ramesses I
The reign of Ramesses I was short-lived, and his tomb (Kings Valley 16) was hastily prepared and unfinished. Even so, the chamber still exudes magnificence from the entryway to the side chambers. From the entrance, visitors will walk along a sloping corridor and a stairwell before reaching the chamber. Inside, they will be inspired by the decoration depicting the funerary text of the Book of Gates. Though the mummy of the king is not present in his chamber anymore, visitors can still enjoy viewing the majestic sarcophagus. The tomb is humble yet knows how to wow.
9 Tomb Of Ramesses III
Four corridors and lots of chambers. Visitors would see those in the tomb of Ramesses III (KV11). As such, they will have a long time exploring and learning why ancient Egyptians employed intricate burial rituals. Compared to the chamber of Ramesses I, that of Ramesses III has more funerary texts as decorations. Inside the tomb, visitors will have more time to take photos of unique designs only seen in Egypt. One such decoration is the Book of the Dead. But really, it’s lively there when tourists see the smiles of other excited visitors.
8 Tomb Of Ramesses VI
The tomb of Ramesses VI (KV9) is among the most famous in the Valley of the Kings. It was originally built for Ramesses V, but historians are not certain if he was buried there. Nonetheless, Ramesses VI expanded the tomb for his later use, employing a simple, straight design composed of five corridors filled with funerary texts. Such texts include spells and maps of the underworld. Walking from the entranceway to the last chamber is like journeying through time – and the afterlife.
7 Tomb Of Ramesses VII
Another simple yet mesmerizing tomb is that of Ramesses VII (KV1). It's straightforward: a graffitied entrance that leads to the painted corridor. While walking along it, visitors will marvel at the view of deities, funerary texts, epithets, and other decorations. Inside the burial chamber, they will be welcomed by astronomical scenes and other designs fit for a king. The sarcophagus is also decorated with images of gods and amulets. There’s much to see in this humble tomb that even the littlest chamber has something big to offer.
6 Tomb Of Ramesses IX
The next king to have another spectacular tomb is Ramesses IX. The Ramesses really know how to impress. KV6 will satisfy excited guests because it’s long and has lots of corridors and chambers. Though the tomb and its decorations are unfinished, it has remained open since antiquity. The tomb is excited to show visitors its solar disks, scarab designs, graffiti, texts, and other decorations. The colorful decors are worthy of multiple shots, and tourists can have the time of their lives posing for pictures. The deities definitely approve.
5 Tomb Of Merneptah
Even amateur Egyptologists surely know Merneptah because of his victory stele, the only ancient Egyptian document where Israel was mentioned. Though this artifact is not present in his tomb (KV8), there are other interesting things to see in his once resting place. The tomb is long as it has five corridors and various chambers. Even the gates have unique decorations, so tourists should expect wonders when strolling along corridors and getting curious in the chambers. If there’s one more victory stele of Merneptah, it might as well be about the beauty of his tomb.
4 Tomb Of Seti I
Just looking at the photos is mesmerizing, more so when tourists are hugged by the presence and aura of the tomb of Seti I (KV17). It is not just the longest and deepest tomb in the Valley of the Kings; it’s also the most decorated because its religious texts are complete. All that makes this monument among the most popular alongside that of Ramesses VI and Tutankhamun. Seti I’s tomb is exquisite, so it should not be missed by Luxor visitors.
3 Tomb Of Seti II
Not much is known about the tomb of Seti II (KV15), but it's nonetheless rich in Egyptian wonders. For starters, its first gate is adorned with a sun disk, epithets, and graffiti that features Greek and Demotic texts. The first corridor shows an image of the king and the Litany of Re. The two other corridors show elegant decors as well. The burial chamber is unfinished and damaged yet still shows how ancient Egyptians respect their dead. It’s not the most beautiful, but visiting Seti II’s tomb is a humbling experience.
2 Tomb Of Tutankhamun
Who does not know Tutankhamun? The rediscovery of his intact tomb in 1922 wowed the world because of the presence of more than 5,000 artifacts. Among the most famous relics is the golden mask, now housed in the Egyptian Museum. Who would’ve thought that just before its rediscovery, the tomb was filled with debris yet its artifacts and decorations remained intact? King Tut’s chamber continues to impress the world not just because of its grandeur but because of the possibility of hidden rooms. That alone should entice tourists to visit the tomb.
1 Tomb Of Tausert And Setnakht
Pharaohs Tausert and Setnakht might not be well-known, but that should not stop tourists from checking out their tombs. Since the two rulers used this as their burial place, it’s one of the largest tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It has been open since antiquity, enough reason to attract visitors. It is considered an “unusual” tomb because it was made for Tausert, wife of Seti II, who should be buried in the Valley of the Queens. However, when she became the ruler of Egypt, it became a tomb of a "king." Ramesses III used it as the burial site of his father, Setnakht, who was believed to steal the throne from Tausert. Ah, history: rich and ready to surprise tourists.