Between Aswan and Luxor is located the major Ptolemaic temple of Edfu – the best preserved major temple in Egypt. The temple is dedicated to the falcon god Horus and was built over a 180-year period from 237 BC to 57 BC.

Edfu's First Pylon
The front of the temple of Horus at Edfu. Visitors approach from the rear
of the temple and around the left side of the pylons or through the
small corridor visible at ground level in the pylon on the left.

Most visitors to the temple arrive by cruise boat and then take a horse-drawn carriage to the temple where vendors are ready to sell you all manner of souvenirs.

Edfu Temple and town seen from the river.
The pylons of Efdu Temple behind some of Edfu’s buildings.
Seen from a cruise boat heading north to Luxor.

Inside the temple’s pylons is a large courtyard. Just before the entrance to the first of two hypostyle halls is a welcoming statue of Horus. Inside the hypostyle halls are dominated by a forest of towering columns.

Statue of Horus Horus depicted on the surrounding wall.
Statue of Horus, the falcon god,
in the courtyard of the temple.
Horus depicted on inside of
the rear surrounding wall.

The temple was excavated last century by Auguste Mariette. Its courtyard and surrounds were buried beneath sand and also houses built by local villagers. Deep within the temple is the sanctuary where a statue of Horus would have been cared for by priests.

Edfu Temple's Sanctuary Boat
The Sanctuary at Edfu Temple. The
pedestal would have supported a
barque, while the shrine or naos
at the rear would have housed
a statue of Horus. The naos dates
from an earlier temple.
An early 20th century replica of a barque
of Horus that would have sat in the
Sanctuary. The barque would
have been joined briefly each year by
the barque of the goddess Hathor
brought from Dendara Temple.

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