Believed by Egyptians to be constructed atop lands where the epic battle between Horus and Set occurred, Edfu Temple is one of the largest and best preserved ancient structures in Egypt. Dedicated to the falcon headed Neter Horus—the son of Osiris and Isis—Edfu Temple is sacred place associated with higher vision and clarity. Many pilgrimages travel here to connect with their deepest inner emotions and to seek a greater understanding of the divine masculine and feminine energies—all qualities associated with Horus.
Constructed during the Ptolemaic Period between 237 and 57 BC, Edfu Temple sits about a mound adjacent to the western bank of the Nile River between Aswan and Luxor. This ancient temple was a site of worship until Theodosius I’s banned pagan cults. After this time, desert sands and silt from the Nile filled the structure slowly and homes were set atop the site, which contributed to its preservation. Eventually in 1860, French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette began unearthing the impressive Edfu Temple and begun the restoration process.
The Magnificent Reliefs, Statues and Sacred Chambers at Edfu Temple
This is a huge complex that appears rather imposing upon approach, and the enormous 118-foot pylons at the entrance of the temple are particularly striking. Decorated with ornate battle scenes depicting Ptolemy VIII defeating his enemies in honor of Horus, the entrance is also flanked by large granite representations of Horus in his falcon form. One you pass the main entrance, there is an open courtyard graced with impressive floral capitals and massive wall reliefs. Once a year, Horus and Hathor of Dendara came together in celebration, and one of the most famous reliefs shows their “Feast of the Beautiful Meeting.”
Just beyond the courtyard lies Hypostyle Hall, where two giant black granite statues of Horus rest. One lies on the ground thanks to missing legs, but the second statue stands 10-feet tall and is a popular place for photo opportunities. Also known as the Court of Offerings, this is where the image of the ruler of the sky, earth and underworld was carried to the rooftop to receive the re-energizing properties of the sun. Visitors can then explore the holiest area of the temple—the Sanctuary—with a lovely granite shrine that honors Nectanebo II surrounded by reliefs of Ptolemy IV worshipping Hathor and Horus.
Numerous sacred chambers and chapels surround the Sanctuary including the:
- Chapel of the Throne of Re
- Chamber of the Throne of the Gods
- Camber of the West
- Chamber of Osiris
- Tomb of Osiris
- Chamber of Hathor
- Chamber of Khonsu
- Festival Hall
- Chamber of Linen
- Chapel of the Spread Wings
- Chapel of Min
- Sun Court
- Chamber of the Victor
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