• Arts
  • Architecture
  • Denderah City and Temple

  • Denderah temple facade
    Denderah temple plan
    Denderah temple plan
    Location Upper Egypt - 60 km north of Thebes
    West bank of Nile
    Nome6th nome of Upper Egypt The crocodile - the 6th Nome of Upper Egypt
    Type of SettlementReligious Center
    Necropolis Remains of Old Kingdom tombs scattered in the desert
    On the west end of the necropolis are brick-vaulted catacombs of Late Kingdom animal burials, primarily birds, dogs and cows.
    Local deityHathor
    Ancient nameEgyptian - Iunet
    Greek - Tentyris
    Historical Development- The city was a religious center of Hathor worship, but never an important political center
    - The population of the town has, since antiquity, moved to Qena across the Nile on the east bank.
    The Temple- One of the best preserved of all the temples in Egypt, dedicated to Hathor, and built by Ptolemy 8 Physcon and later elements were added by the Romans.
    - The complex included two birth houses, a sacred lake, two chapels dedicated to Osiris and Isis.
    - The complex was surrounded by high mud brick walls that were built in alternating concave and convex sections. This produced a wavy structure that is assumed to signify the primordial sea which surrounds the symbolic mound of birth and regeneration on which the temple was built.

    Architectural Layout:

    1. The facade consists of six Hathor -headed columns and a low screen wall. The facade top features a huge curved cornice.
    2. The first hypostyle hall containing 18 Hathor columns. The ceiling is divided into seven bands of astronomical figures featuring the goddess Nut, vultures, winged sun-discs and the zodiac. The walls are decorated with scenes of Pharaohs making offerings to Hathor.
    3. Smaller hypostyle hall - six smaller Hathor columns support the roof, the walls depict scenes of the Pharaoh involved in ritual foundation ceremonies.
    4. Six Store chambers
    5. Hall of offerings - here daily rituals were carried out by the priests and priestesses of Hathor
    6. Hall of the ennead - here the statues of gods were assembled on festival days
    7. The Sanctuary - contained the statue of Hathor.. On either side of the door the Pharaoh is depicted offering a copper mirror to the goddess.
    8. A passageway around the sanctuary contains eleven chapels dedicated to various divinities and religious symbols.
    thumbnail

    Photos: Denderah Temple