Idfu Things to Do

  • Edfu - Horus Temple
    Edfu - Horus Temple
    by solopes
  • Edfu - Temple of Horus - Mammisi
    Edfu - Temple of Horus - Mammisi
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Edfu - Temple of Horus - Mammisi
    Edfu - Temple of Horus - Mammisi
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey

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    Horus Temple

    by solopes Updated Jan 13, 2014

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    Edfu - Horus Temple

    Started in the 3rd century BC, this is referred as the greatest and the best preserved temple in Egypt.

    Be prepared for long explanations by the guides, since the details are, here, easier to see and to understand (and the cooler inside helps a lot).

    After the hustle of the short trip to the monument, it's nice to see carefully what, in the other monuments, the burning sun "forbid" us to see.

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  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Idfu/Edfu Temple

    by DSwede Updated Mar 13, 2011
    Temple of Idfu

    Taking a river cruise along the Nile, you will most definitely stop at Idfu and visit the Temple of Horace. In all the temples that I visited in Egypt, this one definitely has some of the most impressive engravings and statues. Peruse through others tips and photos. I will not bother posting my entire photo album here...

    It is south of Luxor and north of Kawm Umbu.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Temple of Horus

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Aug 20, 2007

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    The Temple of Horus is dedicated to Horus - the falcon headed Egyptian god. It is considered that it was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies. Tourists have a great deal of information about its construction from reliefs on outer areas. Most of the work continued throughout this period with a brief interlude of 20 years while there was unrest during the period of Ptolemy IV and Ptolemy V Epiphanes.

    This is not only the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. It was believed that the temple was built on the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth. Hence, the current temple was but the last in a long series of temples build on this location. It is said that the original structure housing a statue of Horus was a grass hut built in prehistoric times. At any rate, there is an earlier and smaller pylon of Ramesses II which sits in a 90 degree angle to the current building.

    The main building, which includes a great Hypostyle Hall, was uncovered by Mariette in the 1860s.

    VT has the separate location for this Temple. To learn more about this Temple I advise you to visit my Temple of Horus page.

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    Temple at Edfu

    by Childish Updated Feb 5, 2007

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    Egypt, Edfu, Temple dedicated to Horus
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    The temple at Edfu is the most preserved one in Egypt and this makes it very valuable since it reveals ancient Egyptian architecture and religious decorations on the walls. But we should have in mind that the temple was built at Ptolemaic times i.e. on one hand relatively late and on other hand there can be seen ancient Greek influence.
    The construction started at 237 BC in the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes I and it was finished in 57 BC and it is amazing and very rare that the building continued so long and in the same time in such harmonious manner. Unlike the temple at Karnak the one at Edfu was completed. The criteria for this are the decorations on the outer pylon done by Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysus, the father of Cleopatra VII.
    The temple was excavated by August Mariette, the founder of Cairo Museum, in 1860s.

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    Outbuilding and Exterior Images of Temple of Horus

    by atufft Written May 23, 2006

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    Out building Colonnade with Color Paint
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    These remaining images are devoted to the exterior walls which are large and in great condition. The reliefs require considerable study, time that I didn't have then, but wish I had now. There is also the entrance colonnade to the mamissi, which retains considerable color in the shadows away from the harsh Egyptian sun.

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    Temple of Horus Reliefs and Paint

    by atufft Written May 23, 2006

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    Chamber with Painting of Goddess Nut on Ceiling
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    There are numerous passageways, and I have many photos of them. The images here are a sample of what may be seen. One of the more interesting painted images of Nut, the goddess of the sky. Outside is the passage of victory that celebrates the triumph of Horus the falcon over Seth the hippo.

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    Great Hypostyle Hall at Temple of Horus

    by atufft Written May 23, 2006

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    Greek Style Capitols in the Great Hypostyle Hall
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    Second in size only to Karnak, the great Hypostyle Hall is in a much better state of preservation. The Greek style capitals and stone ceiling show considerable smoke damage suggesting that for a period at least, the temple was occupied as a residence. There are numerous passages where photography is challenging due to low light levels. In one part of the rear interior of the temple, I found a lovely relief of the conjugal visit between Horus and Hathor.

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  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Temple of Horus Entrance and Forecourt

    by atufft Written May 23, 2006

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    First Pylong Relief of Horus Slaying Seth
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    The first pylon is huge and has a comparatively large entrance gate, to the right of which stands a statue of the god Horus, the falcon headed son of Osiris and Isis. Seth killed Osiris, and so the Horus avenged his father's death, according to legend on this very spot. Horus killed his uncle in mortal combat, a scene depicted on the first pylon relief. The forecourt was a place for ceremonies having to do with a live falcon that represented the god Horus. It is from Horus that all Pharoah's are descended, and so this temple is likely constructed on a site where earlier temples stood. According to tradition, the earliest temple was a grass hut built in prehistoric times. In more recent times, the temple was buried in sand and debris, with part of the village sitting atop the roof of the Great Hypostyle Hall and uncovered during the 1860's by Mariette and local Arab workers.

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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Local transport 2

    by stevezero Written Apr 9, 2005

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    Local transport, Edfu

    The temple of Horus, is a fair way from the banks of the Nile, so if you arrive by boat, you need to arrange transport.
    There is no shotage of the horse drawn variety to speed you on your way. It is best to agree a price with your driver in advance, and for the animal lovers slip him a few quid extra and make sure the horse gets fed.

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    Temple of Horus 2

    by stevezero Written Apr 9, 2005

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    Temple of Horus, Edfu

    The main building was the great Temple of Horus Behedti. It was begun on August 23, 237 BCE, by Ptolemy III. In 206 BCE, work was halted by an insurrection, during which two chiefs from the Theban area declared themselves independent of Ptolemaic rule (history repeating itself, perhaps). The temple was formally dedicated in 142 BCE by Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II and his wife Cleopatra II.

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    Temple of Horus

    by stevezero Written Apr 9, 2005

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    Temple of Horus, Edfu

    The Temple of Horus, a sandstone Ptolemaic temple, dedicated to Horus, is the most complete and best preserved of all the temples of Egypt. It was built on the site of a New Kingdom temple, which was oriented east to west, the Ptolemaic structure follows instead a north-south axis. In Graeco-Roman times Edfu was called Apollinopolis Magna, the Egyptian god Horus by then being identified with the Greek god Apollo.

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  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    Half Reliefs - typical style

    by Myndo Updated Dec 25, 2004

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    Half Reliefs in the typical egyptian style

    The Egyptians of the Pharaonic times had a very special and impressive stile when doing some artwork - be it as half reliefs or paintings or hieroglyphs.

    Interesting is, that all this Art was for religious purposes only and most of them was hidden inside of temples or tombs where only priests had access.

    It was important for the Egyptians to show the important parts of the people as clearly as possible. Perspective was not required.
    So man are mostly shown with the torso from the front and woman with the torso from the side.
    Faces were always in profile and Eyes were shown as if from the front.
    ...

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    Sidewalk of the temple

    by Myndo Updated Dec 25, 2004

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    Sidewall of the Edfu Temple

    The temple has sidewalks that are richly decorated, mostly with reliefs on the story of the god Horus and how he defeated Seth.
    There are some funny pictures showing Seth as a Hyppopothamus or pig - look out for them!

    What is interesting here are the stones that you see coming out of the wall at the right.
    If they were in another country one would say they are gargoyles for the rainwater. But here in Egypt where there is no rain??

    The explanaition is that the temples were built in Ptolomeic times by sometimes roman architects that took this peculiar part of architecture from their home at the Mediterranean sea - where there was rain...

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    The holy bark

    by Myndo Updated Dec 25, 2004

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    Bark, Edfu

    Every god "lived" in the temple that was built for him, or rather in a statue in the most holy room. That statue which was made form pure gold was taken out, washed and treated with oil and incense every day. Food and drink was sacrificed, so that the god would choose to stay inside the statue.

    Since the god had mostly also some kind of family and his partner had the temple some miles ore more away, once or twice a year, they would visit each other.
    They would travel over the Nile on a holy bark - such as the one in the picture (which is a replica).

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    Hieroglyphs at Edfu

    by Myndo Updated Dec 25, 2004

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    Hieroglyphs

    In the Edfu temple, there is a whole room with Hieroglyphs. Here are the recipies for medicine, creams, oils and burn incenses written and preserved on the walls.

    Hieroglyphs were only used for religious purposes, - for which they are well suited with their elegant and mystic forms - so you find them in temples and such, but the normal people used an other script.

    There are some funny things about the script. For one you can write it from up to down, or from right to left or left to right. If you want to know in which direction it goes, have a look at the animal hieroglyphs (birds and lions and such) and where they are facing.
    The ancient egyptians did not writr any vocals (a,o,u,i,e...). So we do dometimes have problems with translation.
    Example: stl could be steel, stile, stale etc.
    Nefretiti or Nofretete?

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