Seti I, who built the superbly decorated temple at Abydos, his beautiful tomb in the Valley of the Kings and Karnak’s magnificent hypostyle hall, died before this memorial temple was finished, so it was completed by his son Ramses II who had a heavier hand. At the northern end of the Theban necropolis, this temple has few visitors, despite its picturesque location near a palm grove.
The temple was severely damaged by floods in 1994 and has been extensively restored. The entrance is through a small door in the northeast corner of the reconstructed fortress-like enclosure wall. The first and second pylons and the court are in ruins. The pharaoh's palace has also gone, but recent excavations have revealed its foundations, just south of the court, and it is therefore the earliest-surviving example of a palace within a memorial temple; its plan is similar to the better-preserved palace at the memorial temple of Ramses III at Medinat Habu.
The walls of the columned portico at the west facade of the temple, and those of the hypostyle court beyond it, contain some superbly executed reliefs. Off the hypostyle are six shrines and to the south is a small chapel dedicated to Seti’s father, Ramses I, who died before he could build his own mortuary temple.