Pharaonic land attracts many tourists throughout the year. The most important Pharaonic city is Luxor. This city houses most of the ancient monuments and most of the temples of Egypt. A great number of the attractions of Luxor are from the New Empire because Luxor was the capital during this period.
There are also monuments from later times. One of the temples preserved in Luxor is the Temple of Esna. The Temple is in the city of Esna which is located 50 km south of Luxor.
The History of the Temple of Esna
The city of Esna was known as “Lunyt” and was the capital of nomo III of Upper Egypt during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The Temple of Esna is known as “the Temple of Jnum”.
The Temple was dedicated to the triad of Esna; Jnum, Anuket, and Seshat. The construction of the temple began in the XVII Dynasty during the reign of Thutmosis III and Amenhotep II. Then it was extended during the period of the Ptolemies and Romans.
It was known as “Lates Niloticus” (Nile Perch) as a Greek-Roman name. This name was related to the goddess Neith (goddess of hunting and fishing).
The Construction of the Temple of Esna
The most important thing in the Temple of Esna is the hypostyle room that was started in the reign of Tiberius. The room is the best-preserved part of the Temple. The room’s facade is walled between columns with small windows that allow illumination.
There are 24 columns of 14 meters high in the room. The most outstanding feature is the capitals of the columns in the shape of flowers. The ceiling was built with large slabs decorated with bas-reliefs representing scenes of a pharaoh with gods, the hunt for the pharaoh, signs of zodiacs, astronomical events, and a calendar of festivities.
In front of the Temple, there is a courtyard with a single statue of the goddess Menheyet with a lion’s head.
Above the Temple of Esna
The Temple was built on the ruins of the worship of Jnum. The Temple of Esna was found under the rubble. In 1860 only a part was excavated. Augustus Mariette excavated the hypostyle room. The Temple is located 10 m below ground level.
The decorations on the columns assimilate those of the Temple of Dendera and the Temple of Edfu. In the corridor of the columns in the Temple there are inscriptions with the name “Decius” in Roman Emperor of the year 250 A.D.
Book your trip to Egypt explore the Egyptian Civilization
Egypt has many wonderful and magical destinations that you should not miss the opportunity to visit. It is also very interesting and recommended to explore the timeless cities of Luxor and Aswan while enjoying a cruise on the Nile or book one of our Egypt travel packages to explore more destinations in the land of the pharaohs.