Edfu Temple

Edfu Temple 1st Pylon 400
Edfu Temple – the 1st Pylon
Photo by: Argenberg, Creative Commons

Edfu Temple is an ancient Egyptian temple situated on a mound on the west bank of Nile River in the city of Edfu, in between Loxur and Aswan. The city was formerly known as ‘Apollonopolis Magna’ during the Greco-Roman period, because the Romans associated Greco with their god Apollo. The city of Edu was a flourishing city during the Ancient Egyptian times, thus the Edu temple was an important symbol of power and influence the city had over the area. It is one of the largest and best preserved temples in Egypt. Edfu Temple was built during between 237 & 57 B.C., during the Ptolemaic period.

The temple was dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the temple was built on the site where the great battle between the gods Horus and Seth took place. Edfu Temple has some traditional Egyptian elements, along with a few Greek influences. The Pylon is worth viewing at, which was actually one of the last features added into the temple. It stands 37 meters high, making it the tallest one in Egypt. Bas-reliefs in the Pylon show depictions of Ptolemy VIII smiting his enemies before Horus.

The temple’s main building includes a great Hypostyle Hall, which was discovered in the 1860s. Many bas-reliefs such depictions of the annual reunion of Horus and his wife Hathor can be found inside. Do not miss the Birth House, located on the left of the Pylon. Centuries ago, the Birth House was a busy place, where the annual Festival of Coronation was held in honor of the divine birth of Horus & the reigning pharaoh.

Beyond the Birth House, you will also find the Court of Offerings, where the ancient people used to make offerings to the image of Horus. Other places worth visiting are: the Festival Hall, Hypostyle Hall, Hall of Offerings, and the holiest part of the temple, the Sanctuary of Horus.

Relive the Egyptian era by visiting the Edfu temple.

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