The monument is built on sloping ground, which required the construction of successive terraces. Its plan is square; the main building is on a north-south axis. It is extended by the nearby Osireion, the fictitious tomb of the king, originally located under a tumulus, the two buildings being separated by only a few meters. The funerary temple is, however, completed by a side wing that stretches to the east. The limestone temple rests on a sandstone foundation 1.30 m deep. Its walls are decorated with numerous bas-reliefs, some of which still have their original colors. The temple honors seven deities, each of which has its own chapel, but Osiris is particularly honored.
Rameses II completed the work of his father, Seti I, by adding two courtyards and a 62-meter wide pylon to the monument, of which little remains today. Both of these courtyards end in a portico with twelve rectangular terraced pillars. The first courtyard contained a garden with trees and ponds.