• Arts
  • Architecture
  • Edfu City and Temple

  • Photo of the Edfu temple facade
    Architecural drawing of the Edfu temple plan, showing main sections of the structure
    Location Upper Egypt - between Esna and Aswan
    West bank of Nile
    Nomegraphic showing the hieroglyphic symbol for the 4th nome of Upper Egypt Throne of Horus - the 2nd Nome of Upper Egypt
    Type of SettlementReligious Center
    Necropolis The remains of seven small provincial step pyramids built from red sandstone, are situated 5km north of Edfu near the village of Naga el-Goneima
    Local deityThe falcon god Horus
    Ancient nameEgyptian - Behdet
    Greek - Apollinopolis Magna
    Historical Development- It was believed that Edfu was the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth.
    - Pre-Dynastic Period - Capital of a kingdom that flourished c. 3400 BC
    The remains of this ancient settlement are situated about 50m to the west of the temple, this settlement has complete archaeological sequences of occupation dating from the Pre-Dynastic Period, Old Kingdom until the Ptolemaic Period. . Excavations have yielded a field of mastabas dating from the Old Kingdom and a Roman necropolis
    - During the Ptolemaic Period, Edfu was an important religious and trade center
    The Temple The large sandstone temple is one of the finest examples of Ptolemaic Period architecture, and the best preserved major temple in Egypt. It is dedicated to the falcon god Horus Construction Began in 237 BC by Ptolemy 3 Euergetes and was completed over a 180-year period in 57 BC
    The structure was excavated last century by Auguste Mariette. Its courtyard and surrounds were buried beneath sand and also houses built by local villagers.

    Architecture

    1. Two huge pylons - with typical scenes of the Pharaoh in battle with his enemies.
    2. Large courtyard - Horus depicted on surrounding walls
    3. Entrance to hypostyle hall with a statue of Horus in front
    4. 1st Hypostyle hall - dominated by a forest of towering columns
    5. 2nd smaller hypostyle hall
    6. Offering hall, followed by the vestibule
    7. The sanctuary - where a statue of Horus would have been cared for by priests. There is a passage surrounding the sanctuary, which serves also to give access to thirteen small chapels
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    Photos: Edfu Temple