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Also known as the Temple at Idfu, it is found 53km south of Esna and 100km away from Luxor. It is the best preserved temple and the largest temple in Egypt after Karnak. The temple was started in 237BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes I and took around 200 years to build or the reign of six Ptolemy Pharaohs. The Temple made of sandstone, would have been painted in bright clear colours and is a rectangular shape.The temple is dedicated to Horus the falcon headed God. Many believe that the temple was built on the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth and that the current temple is the last in a long series of temples built at this site, with the earlist temple being a grass hut housing a Horus statute built in prehistoric times.
There are many carvings inside the temple describing its construction and the culture of ancient Egyptians. These carvings were made by the priests of the temple, hoping to save their ancient customs, ready for adoption by a true born Egyptian Pharaoh following the departure of the foreign Ptolemy rulers. The massive enclosure wall is carved with
Ptolemaic kings offering to various deities and the carvings on the entrance pylon show scenes of the Pharaoh in battle with his enemies Horus.The entrance to the temple is huge, the pylons are 118 feet high; in the photograph on the left compare the size of the entrance to the size of the people to grasp an idea of its size. The pylon gateway leads to an open top courtyard, which is surrounded on its south, east and west sides by colonnades.
On the northern side of the courtyard is Pronaos (first Hypostyle hall), the largest hall in the temple. The roof of the Pronaos is supported by 18 columns but the spaces between the 6 columns on the southern side are filled to roughly half their height by curtain walls. This filling is designed to screen the interior whilst allowing light to shine through.
The curtain walls contain 2 small chambers; the “House of the Morning” and the “House of Books” or temple library. The chief officiant, purified himself in the House of the Morning.In front of the the main temple facade stands the famous colossal black granite statue of Horus as a falcon, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The front of the Pronaos building has depictions of Horus and his wife Hathor.
SECOND HYPOSTYLE HALL
The first Hypostyle Hall leads to the second hypostyle hall which is older and smaller than the first. As in the Pronaos the roof is supported by 12 columns. The second Hypostyle hall has a number of chambers, including two 'Chambers of Offerings' and a laboratory. On the laboratory there are recipes for incense, ointments and perfumes which where used daily to anoint the statue of Horus.The hall also leads to a well called the Chamber of the Nile where the Priests would have collected holy water. Beyond the second hypostyle hall is the offering hall, followed by the vestibule and finally the sanctuary. The Sanctuary is believed to contain the oldest object in the temple, a granite naos on which the golden gilded wooden statue of Horus would have been housed. The sanctuary is surrounded by rooms dedicated to various gods including , the chamber of linen (used to store Horus' robes), the chamber of the throne of gods, the tomb of Osiris, the chamber of Osiris, the chamber of the West and the chamber of the victor (Horus), which houses a ceremonial barge (barque).Some of the chambers are hidden within walls or the rooms contain the undecorated crypts.
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