The ancient Egyptians also built temples for their gods and pharaohs. One of the most famous Egyptian temples known is the Temple of Amon at Karnak, near the city of Thebes (Thebes). Various sections were added and enlarged by the order of the pharaohs who ruled at various times. B.C. II, who reigned between 1304-1237. A large hall was added to this temple during the reign of Ramses. At Abu Simbel, about 500 km south of Thebes, two rock-cut temples were built at the same time. The pyramids, the tombs of the pharaohs, were considered as sacred as the temples for the Ancient Egyptians, who believed that there was an afterlife.
Temples were important parts of the national economy; because they could own enormous farmland, vineyards, herds of livestock, and employ thousands of workers to produce crops and other commodities. Priests who carried out daily cult responsibilities were located in the temples, as were the scribes and administrators who would record these products. It was the duty of the king, the symbolic high priest of each god, to provide the temples with provisions, to expand them, to provide the temples with land, slaves, spoils of war for their maintenance. The king pleases the gods so that he maintains the cosmic order (maat) and both the king and the entire nation enjoy the grace of the gods.
Temples were important focal points of the religious, economic, and social fabric of Ancient Egypt; Besides being venues for cult ceremonies, they were also venues for political propaganda and economic redistribution. The Pyramid Complex of Djoser, one of the Third Dynasty kings, in Saqqara was the place where monumental stone architecture first appeared. Moreover, it served as a model for later pyramid/funeral temple complexes, as in the famous example at Giza. Funeral shrines, called “Mansions of Millions of Years,” were also built throughout the New Kingdom, often on the sacred west coast of Thebes.
Here are some of the most impressive temples of Ancient Egypt.
Abu Simbel Temples
These two massive carved rock temples in Abu Simbel, a village in the ancient Upper Egypt region of Nubia, were built by the 13th century Pharaoh II. It is dedicated to Ramses and his first wife, Nefertari.
During his campaign to suppress the rebels in Nubia, Ramses-II follows an elephant and reaches Abu Simbel. Ramses decides to build two temples here.
The great temple was built in 20 years by carving into the mountain. There are 4 giant Ramses statues at its door. The small temple is dedicated to the queen Nefertari and the goddess Hathor.
Abu means ‘father’ in Arabic. It is named after the boy who led the way to Giovanni Belzoni, who opened the entrance of the temple and took its contents.
The Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile in the city known today as Luxor and was built around 1400 BC. In Egyptian, ipet resyt is known as “southern refuge”. Luxor has several large temples on the east and west coasts. Four of the great mortuary temples visited by early travelers were the Temple of Set I at Gurnah, the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahri, and the Temple of Hatshepsut II. The Temple of Ramses and the III Temple in Medinet Habu. Temple of Ramses; The two main cult temples on the east coast are known as Karnak and Luxor.
Unlike other temples in Thebes, the Luxor temple was not dedicated to a cult god or to the divinity of the pharaoh. Instead, the Luxor temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of the kingdom; It may be where most of the Egyptian pharaohs were actually or conceptually crowned. Behind the temple, 18th Dynasty III. There are chapels built by Amenhotep and Alexander. Other parts of the temple are Tutankhamun and II. It was built by Ramses.
Karnak was originally an unfinished temple. Each pharaoh made more than the additions of the previous pharaoh and became a big and magnificent temple, and each pharaoh wanted to add something from himself, so the construction of Karnak took more than 2000 years. Karnak Temple also provides important information about both Egyptian history and mythology. It is also possible to find traces of many pharaohs in the Karnak Temple. In addition, archaeologists made many excavations in Karnak and obtained important findings in these excavations.
Karmak’s decorative art is scraping rather than relief. There are approximately 134 columns in the hypostyle hall. 8000 votive stones, 450 statues and nearly 10 sphinxes were found in Karnak.
Temple of Kom Ombo
One of the most unusual temples in Ancient Egypt, Kom Ombo was mainly built during the Ptolemaic Dynasty between 180 – 47 BC, although there is evidence that an earlier temple stood on it.
The building is unique because its ‘double’ design meant that there were duplicated courts, halls, sanctuaries and chambers for the two god groups. The southern half of the temple is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, the god of fertility and creator of the Earth, along with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris (“Horus the Elder”), along with Tasenetnofret (Good Sister, Hathor, or a special form of Tefnet/Tefnut) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands). The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.
During the past centuries, the temple has been damaged, especially as a result of the floods of the Nile and earthquakes. In addition, the stones of this temple were used to be used in other later constructions. Some of the reliefs inside the temple were erased by the Copts, who later used this place as a church.
Also known as Djeser-Djeseru, meaning “Holy of the Holies” in Ancient Egyptian, the temple is the 18th dynasty Pharaoh, the longest reigning female pharaoh, considered by historians to be one of Ancient Egypt’s most successful leaders and “the first great woman in history”. It was built for Hatshepsut.
The Temple of Horus at Edfu is the second largest temple in Egypt. Built between 237 and 57 BC, this temple is dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus and is also known as the Temple of Horus.
It is located between the Egyptian cities of Luxor and Aswan. A French archaeologist named Auguste Mariette unearthed it from a sand tomb in the 1860s. It is one of the most beautiful and well preserved of all Egyptian temples.
In addition to the Edfu Temple, large temples and shrines such as Dendarah, Esna, Kom Ombo, and Philae were also built at the time of its construction. The architectural size and flamboyant structure of the temple also reveal the economic situation in Egypt at that time.
Located on a peaceful island and dedicated to the goddess of love, the Temple of Isis was nearly destroyed by floods when the Aswan Dam was built in the 1960s. The temple complex was dismantled as part of the UNESCO Nubian Project and moved to Agilkia Island prior to the completion of the Upper Aswan Dam. It is now one of Egypt’s most beautiful and best preserved ancient temples.