• Arts
  • Architecture
  • Esna City and Temple

  • Esna
    Esna Temple Plan
    Esna Columns
    Location Upper Egypt - West bank of the River Nile, 55 km south of Thebes
    Nome3rd nome of Upper Egypt The rural - the 3rd Nome of Upper Egypt
    Type of SettlementCapital city
    Local deity The holy triad of Khnum, Neith, and Heka their son.
    Ancient nameEgyptian - Iunyt or Ta-Senet
    Greek - Latopolis
    Historical Development- With the exception of the jamb of a gateway - now converted into a door-sill - of the reign of Thutmose 2, the remains of Latopolis belong to the Ptolemaic Period.
    - In the Ptolemaic Period the city was known as Latopolis - The 'city of the fish' where the Nile perch was worshipped.
    - Ptolemy 3 Euergetes constructed the temple of Khnum, which is one of the latest temples to have been built in Egypt.
    - Later elements were added by Ptolemy 5 Epiphanes, Ptolemy 6 Philometor and the Romans.
    Monuments The temple
    - Only the hypostyle hall was excavated - it is well preserved.
    - The structure was built of red sandstone
    Architectural Layout
    1. The facade of the hall - An intercolumnar screen wall with 6 columns similar to the temple Denderah
      On both sides of the temple entrance there are chambers that were used by the priests and keepers of the temple as storerooms.
      Significantly at the foot of the entrance wall is the last known hieroglyphic inscriptions ever recorded, completed by the Roman Emperor Dios in 250 A.D.
    2. Hypostyle Hall - The roof of the hall, which is still intact, is supported by three rows of six tall (twelve meters high) columns with composite floral capitals of varying design that retain some of their original painted color. The roof is decorated with astronomical representations of sky goddess Nut, the Dog Star, Orion's belt, and Alpha Draconis
    3. The whole, remaining structure at Esna lie buried beneath the surrounding buildings of the modern town.