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The Edfu Temple in Egypt : Temple of Horus

The Edfu Temple in Egypt AKA Temple of Horus

The Edfu Temple in Egypt is also known as the Temple of Horus. It is one of Egypt's can’t miss attractions due to it being the most well-preserved out of all the ancient temples in the entire country. The holy site was built to worship the falcon-headed god Horus. On the walls, inscriptions tell the legend of Horus' triumph over the evil Seth. Come and take a visit to this unforgettable place and we will tell you everything you need to know.

What is the Edfu Temple in Egypt?

This temple was constructed during the Ptolemaic period, making it one of the most recent temples constructed, following the Greco-Roman style. It is dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus who is the son of the gods Osiris and Isis. However, the legend says that his uncle Seth, who was jealous and power thristy, murdered Osiris and transformed Egypt into a kingdom of terror. Horus promised to retaliate to honor his father's death and became a warrior. He defeated Seth and Egypt became peaceful once again.

The Edfu Temple in Egypt is actually the largest place of worship constructed for Horus and portrays on its walls a number of scenes of the battle between him and his infamous uncle. The temple also hosted the annual Edfu Festival, which celebrated the marriage of Horus to the goddess of love Hathor.

When was the Edfu Temple built?

The construction of the Temple of Horus kicked off in 237 BC during the reign of Ptolemy III but the work ended in 57 BC. The Ptolemaic dynasty continued to worship the Egyptian gods and a plethora of temples were built during that period, including those in Kom Ombo, Philae and Dandara.

What happened to the Edfu Temple in Egypt across the centuries?

The temple was built under Greek rule but eventually the Roman Empire came to dominate Egypt directly after the defeat of the Greeks. In AD 391, Emperor Theodosius I declared that non-Catholic worship was prohibited, and the Romans destroyed and disfigured many sculptures in Edfu and other temples across Egypt. The beautiful ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall was never recovered, despite restoration works, and remains hidden to this day.

At some point the temple was forgotten and covered by heaps of desert sand over the centuries. Eventually being buried more than 39 meters deep under the blanket of sand. Similar to the Luxor Temple, a small village settled on the site and lived there until 1860 when the local population was relocated and the excavation works commenced. In the present day, we are very lucky to be able to appreciate the splendor of this once buried temple, considered one of the main attractions in Egypt.


What are the highlights of the Edfu Temple in Egypt?

The Temple of Horus measures in at 137 meters long and 79 meters wide. When approaching the temple you may catch sight of the two meticulously carved granite hawks flanking the entrance, acting as guards. The temple features two Hypostyle Halls, one with 18 columns and the other with 12 columns as well as a large pylon at 36 meters high. Once inside you will find two vestibules, a dark sanctuary with a tiny hole that allows light in and a small room that is believed to have once been a library where manuscripts were stored. The temple also features a roof that includes a beautiful chapel dedicated to the goddess Hathor.

As mentioned, the inscriptions on the walls tell story of Horus' victory over Seth, making them an attraction in their own right.

What is the best time of the year to visit the Edfu temple in Egypt?

Visits can be arranged anytime throughout the year, but keep in mind that during the summer peak season (June, July, August) the temperatures reach above 40 degrees Celsius and can be quite uncomfortable during the early visitation hours. High season runs from October to April and the sites are usually busy.

What should I wear to visit the Edfu Temple in Egypt?

We always recommend to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as sunglasses, hats, sunscreen and a bag to store personal items.

How to get to the Edfu Temple?

Many visitors want to combine the attractions with a Nile cruise, so they can relax and visit the ancient sites in one trip. In this case, the ship docks in a designated location and visitors take a carriage to the temple. Another option is to travel by car or minibus.

Where is the Edfu Temple located?

It is located in Edfu, along the west bank of the Nile, between Aswan and Esna. Its location was considered ideal because it is distance from the desert’s harsh climate and safe from the Nile’s flooding.

Do I need a guide to visit the Edfu Temple?

An experienced Egyptologist guide will always make your visit more informative and enjoyable.

Edfu Temple

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