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Egypt is, of course famous for it’s Temples. These were extremely important to the Ancient Egyptian civilisation, the home to the God’s and a vital place in everyday life and society. So I wanted to put together a list some must see temples in Egypt.
5 must see Temples in Egypt
Fortunately for us, there are many temples in Egypt that are in amazingly good condition considering how long ago they were built. This list of must see temples allows you to go back in time, and imagine exactly what it was like to stand there 3500 years ago. I can’t quite describe just how incredible this feeling was.
There is something very unique about this temple, as it is actually dedicated to two Gods. One side to the crocodile God, Sobek and the other to the Falcon Headed God of Horus.
The temple isn’t huge, but there are some amazing carvings to be seen. On one of the walls just inside, you can see where the Christians defaced the carvings. However, these start quite high up on the walls which shows in the years of the Christians this temple was party buried in the sand.
There are plenty of other unique features to see. The two altars, one for each God. And the middle of the two, is a secret chamber which the priests used to listen the Pharaohs. This temple was built during the reign of the Ptolemies, Greek Pharaohs, who the Egyptians did not trust. Hence the need to eavesdrop.
Also look out for the hieroglyphics depicting medical instruments, as well as an ancient calendar. And the deep well used to measure the Nile for taxes.
Simply magnificent. I don’t think I kew the true meaning of the word until I saw this temple. It was built over 2000 years old and covers an area of over 2 square kilometres. Located just outside of Luxor, so really easy to get to. The last part to be built are the outside walls, and were never completely finished.
The most impressive part of the temple is the huge Hypostyle Hall, which is a massive wow moment as you walk in. These huge pillars reach to the sky and are amazing to wander around.
Also don’t miss the obelisk of Hatsheput and the sacred lake. You have to walk around the scarab, that is located here, 7 times so that your wish will come true.
I think Philae was actually my favourite of these must see temples in Egypt. It was also the first one I visited. We took a boat from the jetty in Aswan to reach the temple, which is located on an island in the middle of Lake Nasser. This temple was completely relocated after the building of the dam, as otherwise it would have been submerged.
This temple is dedicated to Isis and the central court to her son (with Osiris), Horus. There is a lot to see on this small island. The area of the temple where Christians turned it into a church. The inner sanctuary which has carvings of Isis as a god holding her mummified husband. The temple of Hathor, which is covered in reliefs of musicians and said to be the first disco.
These are to name a few! My favourite bit was seeing the Cartouche of Cleopatra herself carved onto the walls.
The Mortuary Temple of Hatsheput
This temple was remarkable different from the others I visited on my trip to Egypt. It seemed almost modern looking in comparison. However, it is also pretty special. When you arrive, you can take the Tuf Tuf to the temple.
Hatsheput was a woman who ruled as a Pharaoh. She was married to her brother, and of their three children only one survived (a girl). To secure the throne her brother/husband had another child with another woman. When her husband died in suspicious circumstances, Hatsheput sent her stepson away as him and his interfering mother hated her. She then became Pharaoh. And used her reign for discovery and scientific experiments, which I think is incredible.
Her stepson outlived her and so tried to remove all evidence of her from the temple. On the walls you can still see impressive carvings, but a lot of the faces of Hatsheput have been defaced. The pictures also tell tales of the voyages and discoverers of her reign. Look out for the 3500 tree root when you arrive, it was imported from Somalia!
Last, but absolutely no means least, the Temple at Abu Simbel. At the risk of repeating myself, it was absolutely incredible. We had to leave Aswan at 4.30am to join the convey of vehicles on the desert road, but it was so worth it. Located 30 miles from the border of Sudan, it too was relocated due to the building of the dam. How they achieved this, I have no idea.
The main temple, built by Ramses II shows four huge statues of himself, carved out of the mountainside. This temple was clearly designed to show the strength of the pharaoh. His sculptures are bigger than that of the gods, which was unusual.
Inside there is a huge hypostyle hall, contained a further 8 statues of Ramses and the ceiling painted with vultures, symbolising the protective god. Pictures on the side depict different sides of Ramses II – both as a warrior and a caregiver.
Also to be seen on this site, is the Temple of Hathor, which Ramses built for his favourite wife, Nefertari. Much smaller, but equally impressive. The front has 6 statues of Ramses and Nefertari, and she is the same height as him which is again unusual. Both temples are impressive, but this smaller one was much quieter.
Interested in day trips to Abu Simbel? Why not take a look one of these:
You may notice there are two key Egyptian sites missing from this list of must see temples in Egypt, the Pyramids and Valley of the Kings. That’s because the aren’t temples, but tombs for the Pharaohs. So make sure you check out these two posts all about them:
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