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The temple is approached through and avenue of large ram-headed sphinxes, each protecting a small pharoah figure between their paws, representing the god Amun (whose sacred animal was the ram) protecting the king. These statues are usually identified as dating to the reign of Ramesses II, but it is possible they may date further back to Amenophis III. Originally this avenue stretched all the way through what is now the first courtyard to the 2nd pylon and hypostyle hall, but after construction of the 1st pylon and courtyard those beyond the new facade were stored in rows either side of the new courtyard beyond the entrance pylon.
The second largest temple in the world after Angkor Wat, Karnak Temple covers more than 2 sq. km, large enough to contain 10 cathedrals. Located on the east bank of the Nile in Luxor, the Temple comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. The complex is dedicated to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, with the Amun Temple at its heart
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