Temple Of Kom Ombo is a place of worship built during the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty. It stands on Kom Ombo, overlooking the bend of the river Nile, on the site of a former place of worship. It was initially built by Pharaoh Ptolemy VI at the beginning of his reign and then enlarged by his successors, including in particular Ptolemy XII. Its structure consists of two buildings perfectly symmetrical to each other with respect to the main axis, in fact, the left sanctuary is dedicated to the god Haroeris (the falcon god Horus), while the right one is dedicated to the god Sobek, or the crocodile god.
The Design of the Temple
The entrance, on the east side, is decorated instead by three papyrus-shaped columns that delimit two different entrances, both decorated with the winged solar disc, in homage to the double dedication of the sanctuary. The entrance then leads directly to the hypostyle atrium, a closed space in which the roof is supported by ten columns smaller than the more majestic ones of the entrance, but decorated in the same way. The walls are also decorated here with bas-reliefs, including two particularly refined and composite ones, both celebrating Pharaoh Ptolemy XII.
Temple of Kom Ombo Facts
To be exact, the bas-relief placed in the area consecrated to Sobek depicts the pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes while he is crowned by two women with the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, in the presence of the god Sobek and his companion, while the one placed in the area consecrated to the god Horus, always depicts the pharaoh, but in the act of receiving from the other gods the sacred Ankh, that is the ancient Egyptian symbol that essentially symbolizes life and that sanctions its equality with them, all in the presence of the god Horus. In addition, three poorly preserved vestibules precede the double sanctuary of Horus and Sobek and a collection of crocodile mummies is also on display here. A double wall encloses the entire building, creating an external courtyard decorated with scenes of worship and priestly ceremonies. One of the most interesting bas-reliefs of this part of the temple is the one representing various surgical instruments, even if scholars are not all of the same opinions. In the same bas-relief are also represented two pregnant women sitting on a chair, in fact, the temple was the destination of many faithful who came to ask for divine intercession against the infirmity. Also in the courtyard outside is also depicted a false door at the back precisely coinciding with the point of intersection between the two wings of the temple. Much of the temple was unfortunately destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes and subsequent builders who used the building as a quarry. Finally, some of the interior reliefs were defaced when the temple was transformed into a Coptic Orthodox church.
How do you get to the Temple Of Kom Ombo?
Usually, tourists come here by cruising the Nile River, although you can take a private car A/C from Aswan or Luxor. However, it only by coming from the Nile river, on Egypt Nile cruise that you will find yourself in front of a wonderful sight.