Edfu Temple

Edfu Temple

The visit to the temple of Edfu is an obligatory stop on a Nile cruise. Located on the west bank of the river known in Greco-Roman times, as Apollonopolis Magna. Dedicated to the god Horus, it is the second largest temple in Egypt, after Karnak. This is the best preserved of all Egypt. To enjoy it, on the shores of the place where the cruise ship parks, we will take a rickshaw to reach it. If you do not have it in your package, there are many other ways to hire a visit next to the temple of Kom Ombo.

History of the Temple of Edfu

It dates back to 237 BC during the Hellenistic period after the conquest of Alexander the Great. Its construction took place under the mandate of Ptolemy II who, although they were Greeks, preserved the architectural style and Egyptian traditions. It would be completed in 57 BC with the mandate of Ptolemy XII and would be built on a much smaller temple, also dedicated to Horus.

The temple of Edfu is located between Aswan and Luxor, 120 km away from both cities.

Who built the Edfu Temple?

It was built during the reign extending from Ptolemy VIII to Ptolemy XII, it is considered the most maintained temple in all of Egypt. It is dedicated to the god Horus, the god of Edfu; and was discovered by Auguste

Facts about Edfu temple

It is a tradition that Imhotep, the designer of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, made a temple at Edfu dedicated to Horus. With the dynasty V the whole region is called Behedet, or Behdet, and the god was worshipped as Horus Behedet. From the period of the VI dynasty has been found the tomb of one of the nomarchs, named Isi, great chief of the nomo of the throne of Horus, who lived around the time of Pepy I, who came to be worshiped as a god during the Middle Empire. With the X dynasty appears a sovereign named Anjtify, who was governor of the III nomo (Ten, capital Nejen) and took possession of Behedet after overthrowing the nomarch, called Juy who was allied with the Thebans.

Conclusion of Edfu Temple

Before reaching the front of the temple, you will see the birthplace on the left. This cylindrical structure was the site of the annual coronations representing the divine births of Horus and the ruling pharaoh.
Thereafter At the rear of the building is a relief of Horus nursing Isis. The House of the Nativity is a Greco-Roman element that was not part of the ancient pharaonic temples.
Ptolemy IX, the pylon, built (88-81 BC), is one of the last elements added. At 37 m high, it is one of the tallest in Egypt. The relief represents the future Ptolemaic ruler Neos Dionysus (Ptolemy XII) defeating his opponents before Horus the Great.
After all The entrance to the temple was closed by a huge cedar door that had been looted in the past. Next to the entrance is a statue of the god Horus protecting a man who was one of the high priests of the temple.
The temple of Edfu is surrounded by a protective wall, 13 meters high and made of mud bricks, symbolizing the ancient waters of the sea.
The Egyptians thought that the temple represented the first land. Thereafter Beyond the pylon was a large sacrificial courtyard where people could enter and make offerings to the statue.

 

Edfu Temple
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Stunning cities to visit in Egypt
  • Greater Cairo – the capital of Egypt, home to the Giza Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum and fabulous Islamic architecture.
  • Luxor – the gateway to the Valley of the Kings, amongst other fabulous attractions.
  • Aswan – a more relaxed option, full of amazing sights.
  • Port Said – the center of the third-largest metropolitan area, has a cosmopolitan heritage, home to the Lighthouse of Port Said.
  • Hurghada – a town on the Red Sea, filled with all-inclusive resorts and diving.
  • Sharm El Sheikh – a hugely popular resort town on the Sinai peninsula, with some of the best scuba diving in the world.
  • Alexandria – Egypt’s window on the Mediterranean, with still-palpable glimpses of the past.
Popular destinations in Egypt
  • Greater Cairo – the capital of Egypt, home to the Giza Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum and fabulous Islamic architecture.
  • Luxor – the gateway to the Valley of the Kings, amongst other fabulous attractions.
  • Aswan – a more relaxed option, full of amazing sights.
  • Port Said – the center of the third-largest metropolitan area, has a cosmopolitan heritage, home to the Lighthouse of Port Said.
  • Hurghada – a town on the Red Sea, filled with all-inclusive resorts and diving.
  • Sharm El Sheikh – a hugely popular resort town on the Sinai peninsula, with some of the best scuba diving in the world.
  • Alexandria – Egypt’s window on the Mediterranean, with still-palpable glimpses of the past.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Edfu mean?
Edfu is an Egyptian city located on the west bank of the Nile River, in a wide valley, an optimal place for human settlement because it is safe from the annual flooding of the Nile.
What's in Edfu?
Unlike the Pharaonic temples, the capitals of the columns have different shapes, representing palm leaves, grapes, papyrus, lotus and others. The scenes on the columns depict the king making offerings and worshipping various deities.
What does the temple of Horus symbolize?
Thus, the temple of Edfu was erected in honor of the sun god Horus, considered the initiator of Egyptian civilization. He was attributed power over royalty from the sky and was associated with war and hunting.
How big is the temple of Edfu?
The length of the temple is 137 meters, its width is 47 meters, in front of the pylon it is 79 meters wide. The temple covers an area of 6,430 square meters. Its maximum height reaches 36 meters, and it is considered the highest pylon among the surviving temples in Egypt.
What does the god Horus protect?
Horus is the son of Isis and is in charge of maintaining the balance of nature, protecting beauty, art and hunting. According to the myths of the most important Egyptian gods, he had a bitter confrontation with Seth as a result of which he lost one of his eyes.
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