Edfu Temple

Edfu Temple is located in the midway between Aswan and Luxor, 115km north of Aswan. Edfu was a known city in Ancient Times. Today, the most important monument in the city of Edfu is the Temple of Horus or Edfu temple.

Edfu temple is one of the most beautiful, best preserved Temples in Egypt. It’s a Greco Roman temple, built during the Ptolemiac era on top of an earlier temple to Horus, between 237BC to 57BC.

Despite its later date, it exactly reflects traditional pharaonic architecture and so provides an excellent idea of how all the temples once looked. Edfu is also very large: the second largest in Egypt after Karnak Temple.

The falcon-headed Horus was originally the sky god, whose eyes were the sun and moon.

Edfu Temple façade
Edfu Temple façade

The façade of  Edfu temple standing 37m high, it is among the largest in Egypt. Its reliefs show a later Ptolemaic ruler, Neos Dionysos (Ptolemy VIII), smiting his enemies before Horus the Elder.

Next there is an open courtyard that contains columns with floral capitals on three sides and a big offering court, where the offering used to be offered.

Beginning on the inner walls of the Pylon and continuing around the court along the bottom of the wall, the reliefs depict the Festival of the Beautiful Meeting, during which Hathor’s image sailed from Dendera to spend some intimate time with Horus in the sanctuary of the Temple of Edfu before sailing back.

Statue of Horus
Statue of Horus

 

 

At the back of the Court of Offerings, outside the Hypostyle Hall, are a pair of black granite Horus statues. One stands taller than a man and is a favorite photographic subject of tourists; the other lies legless on the ground.

The rectangular Hall of Columns was built under Ptolemy VII (145-116 BC) and has two rows of six pillars supporting an intact roof.

Sanctuary of Horus
Sanctuary of Horus and the ceremonial boat

This hall leads into the Sanctuary of Horus, the holiest part of the temple. The sanctuary centers on a black-granite shrine that was dedicated by Nectanebo II, making it the oldest relic in the temple. This once contained the gilded wooden cult image of Horus. Next to the shrine there is an offering table and the ceremonial boat which Horus was carried during festivals.

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