THIS stupendous gateway, which is covered with the most elaborate sculpture within and without, is situated on the western side of the grand enclosure that surrounded the whole of the sacred buildings known as Karnak: it was a wall of sunburnt bricks, which may yet be traced. This vast gate is one of two in that wall by which the enclosure was formerly entered; they are of immense height, from seventy to eighty feet, and are, from the richness of their sculptured decorations as well as brilliancy of colour, most striking and impressive. At this gate terminated the grand avenue of Sphinxes which extended from Luxor to Karnak, a distance of four miles.  

    What must have been the impression given by the glories of these temples on entering this sacred enclosure when Thebes was in its greatness! It can only be imagined, by those who have contemplated the ruins. How overwhelming must have been the effect of the great Temple itself: its vast extent; the beauties of the smaller temples by which it was surrounded; the elaborate enrichments, decorations, and paintings; the sacred character too of the edifices thus enclosed in the midst of the vast city of Thebes, whose antiquity is concealed in impenetrable remoteness, yet rich in historical associations, – these temples, raised by the mightiest of her Pharaohs, the abode of the most wise and profound of those who “were cunning in all the learning of the Egyptians.”

    Directly facing the dromos is a propylon, which led by a lateral entrance to the Great Hall of Columns, beyond which, on the right, the vast Obelisks still point to the “blue serene.” Within the gateway of our view is a smaller gate, on the side of which is recorded, in the language and character of the Egyptians, the taking of Jerusalem by Shishak, king of Egypt during the reign of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.

    This view, which is taken from the line of ruined Sphinxes in the foreground of the colossal gateway, and at right angles with the great Temple, presents its lateral appearance, throughout the entire length, from the great propylon to the obelisks, and offers one of the most impressive views of the ruins of Karnak.