Valley of the queens
The Valley of the Queens, located in a neighbouring wadi, or valley, to the necropolis of the Pharaohs, is home to the tombs of the royal women of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The wives of Pharaohs, princesses and even a handful of princes were buried here from the 18th through to the 20th dynasties.
Known as "Ta-Set-Neferu" - "the place of beauty" - in ancient times, of the more than 75 tombs that we know of, only four are open to the public. Visitors can enter the burial places of Queen Titi, the Ramesside princes Khaemwaset and Amunherkhepshef, and the tomb considered to be the finest in Egypt: that of Nefertari.
One of the best known Egyptian queens, Nefertari Meritmut was the first of Ramesses the Great's Royal Wives. Named "Beautiful companion, beloved of Mut", she was well educated and involved in politics. Among many other nicknames, Ramesses called her "the one for whom the sun shines", and her importance can be felt immediately on entering her spectacular tomb. Exquisitely colourful scenes decorate the walls of the three chambers and their connecting corridors; while golden stars twinkle down from the ceilings. Ramesses' love for his first wife is also demonstrated in the enormous rock temple dedicated to her that stands beside his own at Abu Simbel.
While Nefertari's tomb is without a doubt the largest and most beautiful in the valley, if the entrance fee is too pricey, the tomb of Amunherkhepshef is also well worth a visit for its well-preserved reliefs.