The General Description of the Temple of Edfu
The Temple of Edfu is the most preserved temple of worship in Egypt because it was one of the last temples built during the Ptolemaic Empire between 237 and 57 b.c. to be a place of worship of the deity of heaven Horus.
It is the second-largest temple in Egypt after the Temple of Karnak. It is located on the western bank of the Nile River, halfway between Luxor and Aswan.
The Temple is very important because it perfectly reflects the fusion between the Ptolemaic culture and the Pharaonic culture of ancient Egypt. Inscriptions on its walls provided useful information about religion, language, and mythology during the Hellenistic period in Egypt.
The History of the Temple of Edfu
The temple was built by the order of Ptolemy III on August 23, 237 BC, and was completed in the reign of Ptolemy XII in 57 BC. The temple was built on the site where Horus is believed to have fought against Seth to avenge the murder of Osiris (Horus’ father) and his brother according to the famous myth of Isis and Osiris.
All this information was revealed thanks to the scenes and important inscriptions found on the walls of the temple. The temple lost its prestige after the end of the Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, and the prohibition of paganism in 391 AD.
It was buried in the sand, protected in the heart of the desert for centuries until it was excavated in 1860 by a French Egyptologist named Auguste Mariette.
The Architecture and Interior of the Temple of Edfu
The architecture of the temple is unique, as it combines elements of Greek and Egyptian culture. It contains a Greek birth house “Mamisi” west of the entrance at a height of 36 m and two granite statues of Horus at the site where the annual coronation festival was held and where the recreation of the divine birth of Horus was performed.
It has one of the highest pylons in Egypt that reaches the height of 37 m, built by Ptolemy IX, around it there is a group of rooms like the Hypostyle room, built by Ptolemy VII to contain a ceiling with a painting of astronomical signs that symbolizes the sky held by two rows of six pillars, the hall of festivals and the room of offerings.
The most sacred part of the temple is the “Sanctuary of Horus”, as it contains a black granite shrine, which was decorated by Nectanebo II, making it the oldest relic in the temple. The wall has scenes of Ptolemy IV worshipping Horus.
Tours to the Temple of Edfu
The Temple of Edfu or “Temple of Horus” is an incredible historical site to visit, so we have created travel packages to Egypt with a cruise on the Nile to visit the temple along with other Egyptian attractions.