Hypostyle Hall, Karnak.
Karnak is over 5 acres large, so it took us Egyptolophiles 4 hours to drool over every corner, broken statue, pillar and minute section of wall relief. The massive temple structure was erected and added to throughout the New Kingdom. The Hypostyle Hall is so huge and massive (much more so than any other columned hall in currently standing temples), it was just mindblowing. I felt so small wandering through them, almost like being lost amongst a forest of old Redwood Trees. In Ramses II's section of the temple was his usually plethora of smitting scenes and depictions of victory at the Battle of Kadesh.
Being the nosey, persistent and determined Egyptology students that we are, my friends and I wandered over to the "closed" section (Temple of Khonsu and Temple of Apet) and bribed a few guards to let us climb on to the roof of one section of Karnak.
View of Karnak from the roof of the Temple of Khonsu and the Temple of Apet. Sssh. We're not supposed to be up here.
It was spectacular! We could see all of Karnak laid out before us, just stretching on for ever and ever. The temples were perfectly preserved and looked like no one had visited them in years or maybe even decades. (which was probably the case). When the guards told us to crouch down and hide behind large stone slabs, I got the distinct feeling that we REALLY were not supposed to be on top of the roof. Inside the Temple of Apet, there was a large pillared hall with a statue of a baboon in the center.
At the Open Air Museum (inside Karnak), archaeologists have reconstructed from mounds of rubble the beautiful White Chapel of Sesostris I and the gorgeous Red Temple of Hatshepsut.
The light show at Karnak is good for the lights and the different view of Karnak, not to mention all the great photos of it bathed in light with a starry background. But, don't expect accurate information from the monologue - what they say is more for dramatic effect than to enlighten tourists.