The temple of Horus at Edfu is certainly one of the most impressive monuments that rise on the banks of the Nile between Luxor and Aswan. It was buried in sand and mud for almost two millennia, showing itself today as the largest and best-preserved Ptolemaic temple in Egypt. Built-in the Greco-Roman age, it has classical features, typical of Egyptian architecture, so your visit is useful to see what the Egyptian temples looked like in their original structure.
The town of Edfu, a small and dusty village dedicated to the production of sugar cane, is located halfway between Luxor and Aswan, about 110 km from both. It can be a pleasant day trip, reachable by bus or cruise boats that stop there. It was an important sacred place for the Egyptians, since, according to an ancient legend, the god-falcon Horus fought a bitter battle against Seth or set here. It was also a very lively place because of its strategic position, which gave it an important role in the flourishing local trade.
The temple of Horus is particularly interesting for Egyptologists, as it is inspired by the oldest pharaonic structures. To access the temple one must necessarily pass through little interesting tourist bazaars. Two elegant black granite statues of Horus flank the entrance to the pylon, which leads to a large colonnade and the first hypostyle hall. Unfortunately, the impact of the temple is diminished for the visitor, as one has to pass along the back to admire the splendor of the entrance pylon. The first pylon, 36 meters high, is decorated with two mirrored scenes of the pharaoh who knocks down the enemies in the presence of the god Horo and the goddess Hathor. Continuing on, there is a second and smaller hypostyle hall with side rooms intended for gifts for the gods before taking them to the offering room. The stairs connect the offering room to the roof, from where you can see the beautiful landscape of the surrounding fields crossed by the Nile.
In the end, you go out into a narrow outside room known as the Victory Passage. Its walls are decorated with scenes and texts depicting the contentions of Horus and the god of the underworld, Seth, shown in the form of a hippopotamus. Its small size makes it less threatening. The ancient Egyptians believed that everything they carved would happen in reality as well. So they did want to give the evil Seth too much power.
The ancient Egyptians used the kilometers to measure the height of the river and help predict the harvest of the future season. Even though today it is no longer connected to the Nile, you can still see the tree with the inscribed depths.
Edfu is located about halfway between Luxor (109 km) and Aswan (123 km).
On a Nile cruise – almost all the cruise ships that cross the river between Luxor and Aswan stop in Edfu. The temple is about five minutes by car and about ten minutes on foot from the area where the cruise ships stop. With a Nile cruise – a stop in Edfu can be included in a three-day cruise trip from Aswan. Arriving in Edfu on a traditional Latin sailboat is one of the most impressive ways to visit the temple.
By train – the best way to visit the Temple of Horus is to take the local train from Luxor (one hour) or Aswan (one and a half hours). There are frequent trains during the day. From the station to the temple there is about 4 km and you can take a taxi or a shared taxi to reach the temple.
With a private car – taxis can easily be arranged from Luxor. If you take a driver all day long combine a visit to Edfu with visits to Khnum Temple in Esna and Kom Ombo Temple. Through an excursion – you can book the excursion to Edfu Temple in combination with the visit to Kom Ombo Temple at the best price directly online with vacations in Egypt. Discover all available excursions Egypt.