Edfu Temple of Horus

Edfu Temple of Horus

How The Ancient Egyptians Have Just Raised Their Hands From Edfu Temple

Edfu Temple is where you get the chance to visit the all ruined pharaonic temples around Egypt. But when the ancient Egyptians hands had just built them. So, you will see all the magic, architectural genius, and creativity of inscriptions when they had just been placed on the earth.

Edfu Temple is a complete record of the religious rituals in the ancient Egyptian civilization. The inscriptions on the walls narrate great history at this magnificent temple with its complete architectural elements and colorful decorations preserving their luster till now. As if the pharaohs have just raised their hands from them, although they had built this temple in 237 BC.

That is why Edfu Temple is where you feel that you are in an open book about the ancient Egyptian civilization. You will feel that a pharaoh will come from inside to accompany you to this magnificent temple with a length of 137 meters, its width is 97 meters, and the height of its pylon reaches 36 meters.

edfu temple

Did you realize how huge Edfu Temple is!

Edfu Temple is the second-largest in Egypt after the Karnak temple. You will be in magic, going around a special holy spot for the ancient Egyptians 

This majestic temple embodying in front of your eyes the language and myth during the ancient Egyptian civilization. The ancient Egyptians erected and raised its columns where the god Horus, the falcon god, had killed set, the Evil God, in revenge for his father, the god Osiris, to find within the walls of Edfu Temple all the details that narrate the intense battle that took place between Horus and Set until the moment of set’s death. That will illustrate for you why this temple is on the west of the Nile. Although it is not a funeral temple. It is the holy spot where Horus killed Set. 

Actually, that is right building Edfu Temple was in the Ptolemaic era, as its establishment started by Ptolemy III (246–221 BC) on 23 August 237 BC, and the building process completed around 180 years later in 57 BC by Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos, Cleopatra VII’s father, but its conception and design had followed the general plan, scale, ornamentation, and traditions of Pharaonic architecture, right down to the Egyptian attire that worn by Greek pharaohs depicted in the temple’s reliefs.

When seeing the temple of Edfu, you will realize how the ancient Egyptian builders painstakingly preserved the form of Egypt’s pharaohs in this temple. As a result, a visit to Edfu Temple -that still keeps all its architecture- equals as you have visited all the other ruined temples.

The construction of this great temple witnessed several stages, so what about them?

The stages of building the temple of  Edfu city included three basic phases. The first includes the base building, and it is the nucleus of the temple. It is a complete temple since it includes a Hypostyle Hall is rectangular with12 columns to support its roof in addition to two other courtyards, a shrine, and several side chambers.

After a period of about 25 years, the main building finished, and laying the last stone of the construction was on August  212 BC, that is, in the tenth year of the reign of Ptolemy IV. The foundation work continued in the temple of Edfu in the fifth year of the reign of Ptolemy VII as those genius builders set the pylons of the temple and several other supplies.

Then the second stage began and included the process of decorating the walls and drawing the inscriptions with gold plates. It took in July of the year 140 BC. 

The third stage includes the construction of the pillared hall, the front hall, as well as the gates. Building the Hypostyle Hall came on September  122 BC, that is, precisely in the 46th year of the reign of Ptolemy IX. 

The front hall establishment came several years after this date, while the process of erecting the gates came, and then the installation of the large entrance doors on December  57 BC, meaning that the entire temple took about a hundred and eighty years. 

All of that your eyes will observe. As if you hold the history hands to accompany you to thousands of years ago. At this time you will be in waiting for the Hathor procession the wife of the god Horus.

Walkthrough Where the Hathor procession Crossed to Horus 

edfu temple

On the same site of the Edfu Temple, there is one of the most important annual religious festivals took place when the statue of goddess Hathor came from its temple to visit the statue of the god Horus, which was the deity of the Edfu City, then became the worshiped god of all Egypt.

At this ceremony, the king, queen, sons of the king, priests, nobles, and all the whole ancient Egyptians attended. While you walk on the same land to revive this great historical event that you will see clearly on the walls carved with the all details. At this point, you will uncover more about the pharaonic civilization. Especially all the inscriptions are completely clear as if time had not passed by. 

When you walk through this masterpiece temple that dedicated to worship one of the important gods in the whole of Egypt Horus, remember that from just 200 hundred years ago, it was buried by sand and rubble after the pagan cult was banned, at this point, you will feel how we are lucky to discover this magic temple, asking how was the sand covering all that beauty far away from the eyes! So, what exactly this sand had hidden along these years!

How The Edfu Temple Look Like From Inside

It includes the mamisi (house of divine birth), which is situated to the west of the main entrance of the temple, and decorated with colorful carvings showing the story of the divine birth of Horus, the child, in the presence of the goddess Hathor, the god Khenoum and other deities who were concerned with pregnancy and birth, and Beyond the mamisi the massive pylon, which is one of the best surviving pylons among temples in Egypt today with 37m high and decorated with battle scenes, representing King Ptolemy VIII smiting his enemies before the god Horus.

This pylon has splendid granite statues of Horus as a falcon to guard the pylon. Next, there is an open courtyard of offerings. There are 32 columns with floral capitals surround three sides of this offerings area. There, you will witness the place where the ancient Egyptians could give their offering to the statue of the god. History will revive in front of your eyes when seeing the unique decorations that cover all the walls there.

How Edfu Gathered  Horus With Dendara God!

These inscriptions include the Beautiful Meeting’. The meeting gathered Horus of Edfu and Hathor of Dendara. Each had visited the other’s temples every year. After two weeks of great fertility celebrations, these gods magically united.

Hypostyle Hall is rectangular with12 columns. There, you find a falcon-shaped statue of Horus of Behdet in black granite, and then to the Outer Hypostyle Hall. 

Beyond the 1st Hypostyle Hall, there is the Inner Hypostyle Hall. It included 12 columns to the right support its roof, and on the left, there are two chambers; one was used as a library that once contained a large number of manuscripts, and ritual texts. Here, all the necessary perfumes and incense recipes were carefully brewed and stored, their ingredients listed on the walls. While the other was used as a hall of consecrations, a vestry where freshly laundered robes and ritual vases were kept.

At the end of the Edfu Temple, there is the sanctuary of Horus that includes a polished granite shrine where a gold statue of the god stands. This shrine Created during the reign of Nectanebo II (360–343 BC) and was reused by the Ptolemies in their newer temple. 

In front of the dais, there is a resting pedestal for the wooden divine boat. In which Horus’ statue would be taken out of the temple in procession during festive occasions.

About the Sanctuary!

The sanctuary includes, on the outside 12 rooms. There, you find the details of religious rituals as there are a lot of scenes on their walls. Some of these chambers were storerooms. While the others were for many religious purposes. So in these rooms, you will get to know more about the ancient Egyptians worship. In which you will feel that they are standing in front of you worshipping their god. 

On the eastern enclosure wall, you will find one of the most remarkable elements of the temple. It is the Nilometer. It was the measure of the level of the river and helped predict the coming harvest. This Nilometer was for the goddess Nut.

While you walk through the Edfu temple, you will find at each wall various battle scenes. These inscriptions include the famous scene of the ritual of the Temple foundation.

edfu temple

Info You Need To Know About Edfu Temple

  • In Edfu temple, you can easily find clean toilets, and there is a cafeteria.
  • Via a long row of shops and bazaars, you can get amazing gifts.
  • You can get your entry ticket from the ticket office at the cost of 80 LE.
  • There is room for showing a 15-minute film on the history of the temple in English.
  • The visiting hours in the Edfu temple are from 9 am to 7 pm.

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Related FAQ

Why was the Edfu temple of Horus built?

History of Edfu Temple
The temple was constructed on the site of the conflict between Horus, the god of protection and victory, and Set, the god of the desert, war, and disorder, which decided the fate of Ancient Egypt. based on the story of Osiris.

What was the Temple of Edfu used for?

The temple itself is devoted to the worship of Horus, a Greek god Apollo's frequently fused Egyptian counterpart. In actuality, under Greco-Roman dominance in Egypt, the name of the city of Edfu was changed to Apollonopolis Magna.

Why is Temple of Horus Edfu important?

It is among Egypt's best-preserved sanctuaries. Between 237 and 57 BC, under the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the temple was constructed. Important details about Egypt's language, mythology, and religion during the Hellenistic era are revealed by the inscriptions on the building's walls.

What is inside the Temple of Horus?

The sanctuary, which is still there today, was where the golden figure of Horus, a remnant of the pre-Ptolemaic temple, originally stood upon a granite altar and was illuminated by three tiny square openings in the roof.

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