Edfu and the Temple
The Edfu Temple is located in the Egyptian town of Edfu. It is located in the region of Upper Egypt just south of Luxor and Esna. Like its neighboring town Kom Ombo, it is a town best known for its agriculture, sugar cane and pottery.
The Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple and is the second largest in the entire country. The temple was dedicated to the falcon god Horus and built during the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The construction length was estimated to be between 237 and 57 BC.
Centuries of Destruction
Egyptians eventually ceased using the Edfu Temple for religious purposes. This was mainly because Theodosius I banned non-Christian worship in the Roman Empire in 391 BX. Many of the sculptured artifacts were eventually destroyed or disfigured by Roman Christians who took control of Egypt. In fact, you can see visible evidence of this destruction in the blackened ceiling of the hypostyle hall, which is believed to have been an ancient example of arson attempting to destroy any signs of paganism.
Early Christians weren’t the only ones that damaged the Edfu Temple - the Nile River itself also contributed to its changing features.
Because of heavy sands and layers of silt, the temple was eventually buried to a depth of 39 ft. Homes were built over the grounds, and the temple had to be re-identified. Later, a new sand-freeing project developed which re-introduced the Edfu Temple to the world.
One of the Best Preserved Temples
Today the Edfu Temple is still intact and definitely one of the best-preserved sites in all of Egypt. You can thank all that sand for covering up and preserving this monument!
Some memorable features of the temple include the inscriptions on its walls as well as the entrance to the temple, which is by way of a massive pylon, measuring 36 meters high. The pylon is also decorated with various reliefs, or sculptures, depicting Ptolemy XII conquering his enemies. Also look for twin granite falcons, larger than life, guarding the gateway to the temple.
If you’re traveling to Luxor don’t forget to visit Edfu, specifically the temple of Edfu.
The exhibit is open all year round, though it stays open an extra hour in the summer and fall season. There is also a visitor center and paved car park for the comfort of tourists. Remember that the Edfu Temple is a common stop for Nile River Cruises. Chances are if you’re in Egypt seeing the most important sites, you will not miss this awe-inspiring landmark.