The town of Edfu (or another name Idfu) is located on the west bank of the Nile River almost on a half way from Luxor to Aswan. It means one hundred and fourteen kilometers south of Luxor and one hundred and eleven kilometers Aswan further south. Cruise boats which begin their way from Luxor to Aswan usually make their first stop in Edfu early in the morning. It is considered that its ancient name was Wetjeset-Hrw that means "The Place Where Horus is extolled."
The modern Arabic name of Edfu is derived from the ancient Egyptian name Djeba, or Etbo in Coptic. Djeba meant "Retribution Town", since the enemies of the god were brought to justice therein.
The site of ancient Djeba was the traditional location of the mythological battle between the gods of Horus and Set.
The main sight of Edfu is the sandstone Ptolemaic temple. It was dedicated to Horus, and is considered to be the most complete and best preserved of all the temples of Egypt. It was built on the site of a New Kingdom temple.
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. 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. 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.
Fondest memory: The pylons of the main Temple are about 118 feet high with typical scenes of the pharaoh in battle with his enemies.
Of all the temple remains in Egypt, the Temple of Horus at Edfu is the most completely preserved. Built from sandstone blocks, the huge Ptolemaic temple was constructed over the site of a smaller New Kingdom temple, oriented east to west, facing towards the river. The later structure faces north to south and leaves the ruined remains of the older temple Pylon to be seen on the east side of the first court. The remains of the ancient settlement of Edfu are situated about 50m to the west of the Ptolemaic temple - To the left of the older temple Pylon. Edfu is a monument that contains evidence of more Egyptian history and is of more archaeological interest than the Ptolemaic temple. The remains of the settlement provides an insight into the development of Edfu as a provincial town from the end of the Old Kingdom until the Byzantine period. The settlement at Edfu was the capital of the Second Upper Egypt nome, it flourished and doubled in size around 3400 BCE and played an important role within the region during the First Intermediate Period. It is one of few settlements in southen Egypt that flourished when the north, especially around the delta, was in economic decline. Today, the Tell Edfu monument is preserved in some areas up to 20m high and contains complete archaeological sequences of occupation dating to the Old Kingdom until the Graeco-Roman period.
Fondest memory: Statue of Horus, the falcon god, in the courtyard of the temple.
To see how the sights use to look before they were restored and the sand was excavated out of the temples buy the book A JOURNEY IN EGYPT ( BONECHI PUBLISHERS) by David Roberts a Scot who visited Egypt in 1838-9 for 11months drawing and painting in watercolours and oils the sights ,temples he visited
The colours on the columns and walls of the hieroglyphs are very bright giving you a good idea of how colourful the temples were.