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Temple of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut was the most famous of the female pharaohs in Ancient Egypt. Her reign was the longest of all the female pharaohs, and her temple still stands as a tribute to her incredible rise to power. She was the the queen who became king.
The temple is located close to the Valley of the Kings. It is partly cut into the cliff face and partly free-standing.
It is quite a spectacular sight from from a distance, and well worth the walk from the car park, and the climb up the steps to the temple.
Once you get up to the temple there is also a great view looking back across the valley.
I have a few more photos from the temple in my Travelogue
- Historical Travel
Temple of Hatsepsut: Vally of the Kings
The focal point of the Deir el-Bahari complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies", the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect of Hatshepsut (and believed by some to be her lover, to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun.
Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of colonnaded terraces, reached by long ramps that once were graced with gardens. It is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it, and is largely considered to be one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt" It is 97 feet (30 m) tall.
The unusual form of Hatshepsut's temple is explained by the choice of location, in the valley basin of Deir el-Bahari, surrounded by steep cliffs. It was here, in about 2050 BC, that
Deir el-Bahari ad-dayr al-baḥrî, literally meaning, "The Northern Monastery") is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt.
The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty.
During the Eighteenth dynasty, Amenhotep I and Hatshepsut also built extensively at the site.
Mentuhotep II, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, laid out his sloping, terrace-shaped mortuary temple. The pillared galleries at either side of the central ramp of the Djeser Djeseru correspond to the pillar positions on two successive levels of the Temple of Mentuhotep.
Today the terraces of Deir el-Bahari only convey a faint impression of the original intentions of Senenmut. Most of the statue ornaments are missing - the statues of Osiris in front of the pillars of the upper colonnade, the sphinx avenues in front of the court, and the standing, sitting, and kneeling figures of Hatshepsut; these were destroyed in a posthumous condemnation of this pharaoh. The architecture of the temple has been considerably altered as a result of misguided reconstruction in the early twentieth century A.D.
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Wall paintings at the Temple
Beautiful wall paintings just inside the collonade of columns. These were on the right of the temple. Can you see the captured Oryx in the middle of the picture? Its legs are tied up and it is lying on its back - waiting to be butchered.
We spent ages staring at this painting, the detail is marvellous and the subtle colours a real pleasure to behold.
Big is not always best
This is the iconic sight that all tourists come to the west bank to see and as you approach it with the mountainous rocks towering above it certainly makes for an imposing and impressive location. For me though when I actually got to the temple I was a little bit disappointed. It is quite austere and militaristic in appearance when compared to Karnak or Luxor temples. The fact that it is in effect a mausoleum may account for its austerity but nonetheless it is more impressive (to me anyway) when viewed from a distance.
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See the Temple of the Lady Pharaoh
This woman pharaoh, Hatshepsut, has quite a story --- she was hated by her stepson (Tuthmoses III) and a lot of her images were destroyed. She had to wear men's clothes and accessories like a fake beard to assert her authority.
She is the daughter of Tuthmoses I, married to her half-brother who became Tuthmoses II who in turn died early. Tuthmoses III was too young then, and Hatshepsut actually took the power from him --- hence, his dislike for her.
She ruled quite for a while and built this huge temple on the side of a mountain, looking like it was carved out of the stone (this is the same temple where tourists were gunned down by terrorists decades ago according to my guide). The massacre of the tourists has led to very strict laws and security in Egypt with regards to tourism and no such incident has occured again at the temple (thank God!).
It is speculated that Tuthmoses III had something to do with the death of her mother. Was she murdered? I think this is a great story that Angelina Jolie could probably pull off!
Doing the tour independently Part II
This tip follows on from Part I which describes how we visited the Valley of the Kings independently from a tour and how we found our taxi driver, Mohammed.
Onwards to Hatshepsut's Temple at Deir el Bahari. Again we were dropped off a short distance from the main entrance and we had to buy our tickets for the site. There is a land train but as it is only about 100 yards before you have to get off the ride seemed a bit pointless and I think there was another LE£2 fee so we didn't bother.
I loved this Temple - the wall paintings are exquisite - see my other tip.
Back to Mohammed once more. He took us on to our final temple at Medinet Habu which, for many visitors, is omitted as it is the last on their itinerary. Again we had to buy our entrance tickets at a separate booth. This temple is a treasure; it is less crowded and very extensive - we could have spent much longer here but by then we were beginning to flag. See my tip in Off the Beaten Path.
On the return journey Mohammed explained to us how his payment from the broker would work. It was a very well considered and rehearsed explanation. He told us he would get a % of the LE£300 but if we were going to give him a tip could we give it to him out of sight of the broker. We wanted to do this so obliged accordingly. Approaching the end of our trip and nearly at the river side car parking he said we should give him some other small tip so that the Broker or boss could see that we had indeed given him something at the end. The boss, after all, would expect a small percentage of any gratuities. If the boss didn't see any tipping then he would suspect Mohammed of trying to pocket all of the tips before arrival at the car park which would not be good for Mohammed! In the end we gave him another smaller tip in full view of the boss but we learned that tipping and receiving was a very well practiced art which had been refined almost to masterly proportions.
Never mind we enjoyed our day in Thebes immensely. In fact I can't wait to return. There's still the Valley of the Queens and other burial sites over there waiting to be explored.
I'd recommend going independently even though it does lead to some inconveniences like the extra walking distances, having to buy tickets and the inevitable hassle over the tips at the end BUT it did mean we could chose how long we wanted to spend at the various sites. It also meant that our fees were at least going into the local economy rather than being hived off by an international tour company.
Deir-el-Bahri: Hatshepsut's Temple
Hatshepsut was the female pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt. She was the ruler of the 18th Dynasty for 20 years. Hatshepsut was the daughter of Tuthmose I, 3rd King of the 18th Dynasty. When Hatshepsut's father died, her half-brother, Tuthmose II became king. Because Tuthmose II was too young Hatshepsut became his regent, (the women in Egypt carried the royal bloodline). They ruled together until some say Hatshepsut made herself Pharaoh. When her brother/husband Tuthmose II died, Hatshepsut was a widow made to rule alone. However, Tuthmose II had a son by another wife, Tuthmose III. Many experts now say that Tuthmose III is the pharaoh that tried to have Hatshepsut wiped from history probably due to the fact that she was a woman.
Tuthmose III wanted history to show that the succession of pharaohs were all men.
Before Hatshepsut there were queens who ruled Egypt, but never a female pharaoh.
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Temple of Hateshup
Born in the 15th century BC, Hatshepsut, daughter of Tuthmose I and Aahmes, both of royal lineage, was the favorite of their three children. When her two brothers died, she was in the unique position to gain the throne upon the death of her father. To have a female pharaoh was unprecedented, and probably most definitely unheard of as well. When Tuthmose I passed away, his son by the commoner Moutnofrit, Tuthmose II, technically ascended the throne. For the few years of his reign, however, Hatshepsut seems to have held the reins. From markings on his mummy, archaeologists believe Tuthmose II had a skin disease, and he died after ruling only three or four years. Hatshepsut, his half sister and wife, had produced no offspring with him , although he had sired a son through the commoner Isis. This son, Tuthmose III, was in line for the throne, but due to his age Hatshepsut was allowed to reign
This temple is in a perfect position to overlook the narrow green strip of the Nile valley. The access is interesting. The bus arrives at something in the size of a runway of a medium airport and stops at the beginning of it at a fence. There the tourists leave the bus and the fence keeps them away from the runway which leads to the temple. But all the way outside the fence the runway is lined with stalls selling the usual souvenir crap. Even if you are running along the fence far enough away from the stalls you have quite a fight to keep the touts away. And at the upper end of the runway you see your bus parked right behind the fence. So you may hope that when you are back from the temple a door opens in the fence and you can enter the bus. WRONG! You are forced again to walk all along the same stalls back to the lower end of the runway In the meanwhile your bus will come down again waiting for your at the lower end exactly where you left it. I am happy that I saw nobody from our bus buying anything - neither on the way up nor down...
With desert cliffs towering above, Deir el-Bahri is the most dramatic of all temples in Thebes. In fact, it is a complex of mortuary temples and chapels built by several pharoahs from the Middle and New Kingdoms in the Necropolis of Thebes on the western bank of the Nile near the edge of the fertile valley. Its name, Deir el-Bahri, derives from the Christian monastery that was established within one of the temples in later periods (deir means monastery). The most famous and best preserved structure in the complex is the Temple of Hatshepsut, the first woman pharaoh who ruled Egypt for 21 years during the 18th Dynasty (15th century BC). Hatshepsut is depicted as a man in her own mortuary temple as a show of strength - powerful enough to rule as a man!
- Historical Travel
Life story of queen Hatshepsut is really interesting!! she was very strong woman and she wasn't really that kind of fair ideal person
Queen "Hatshepsut" was the first one to send ships to the country's "Puntland" (Somalia now), so they are loaded and perfumes .. And "Hatshepsut" is the fifth kings of the eighteenth dynasty, which also belongs to the King "Tutankhamen." A daughter "Thutmose I," and wife "Thutmose II," has received the sentence with "Thutmose III," which was the son of one of her husband Gariaat, at the same time, her daughter's husband, and remained until her death in 1484 BC holding the reins of government, the ruling was over cogens her life, and deported "Thutmose III" from power, it was not described to him in the Governing
Although she was a female had represented itself in the form of statues man has been flat without breasts, and has borrowed to live. Having died liberation "Thutmose III" from the trusteeship of heavy, and I like to retaliate against them Vatm construction of the temple, and the proportion of the same, and the name and crush most forms excavated and icons, and a place name and his titles in many quarters (please look the pictures i put inside)
The design and implementation of building the temple Engineer "die" QC and one close to it. It belongs to a family of modest "Armant" but became the first president to acknowledge reception of the royal family, and the President receiving machine "Amon", and is in charge of all construction, so it made the greatest professional successes in the history of ancient Egypt.
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go to e left!
There's alot of paintings n carvings on e left hand side.... which includes paintings of tropical trees to show that hatshepsut did travel to many places.. transportation of materials thru e nile.. n even a painting that show that e queen might even suffer from Elephantiasis !!
further to e left showed paintings of sacred cows etc so dun missed this part of e temple .. dun head straight up e temple..go left 1st!
also there'll b ppl offering to do up ya scarf like queen hatshepsut for a small fee.... n it's cute if have a "hatshepsut head do" while taking pic with one of e statue...
- Historical Travel
Without its planted foliage, fountains etc, the actual structure may look somewhat severe, but the reliefs that have survived (and colours) are extraordinary. The Punt Colonnade, recording Hatshepsut's trip to Punt Land (modern day Somalia), is recorded in striking detail, the Chapel of Hathor features festival processions, the adoration of a cow by Hatshepsut and more, many with colours virtually intact.
High and mighty Hatshepsut's temple
More than the Hollywood-glamorized Cleopatra VII (yes, there were seven of them), Hatshepsut represented the apex of female supremacy in ancient Egypt. She became pharaoh herself following the death of her husband and half-brother Tuthmosis II, much to her stepson's anguish - who later became Tuthmosis III.
Hatshepsut's 20-year reign was marked by peace and prosperity. She died of mysterious circumstances - many say on orders of Tuthmosis III - in 1458 BC.
THEY'VE FOUND HER! The antiquities authorities in Cairo have announced on 27 June 2007 that they have identified a once-overlooked mummy found in the Valley of the Kings to be that of Hatshepsut's. The event was regarded as the most significant since the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. Finally, Egypt's greatest female pharaoh has been given her fair share of fame and limelight, although those harboring images of a svelte, goddess-like Hatshepsut would be dismayed to know that she died an obese woman suffering from diabetes and liver cancer. Hail Hatshepsut!
Her temple at Deir al-Bahri, on Luxor's West Bank, reflects her glorious reign. The terraced facade set against a backdrop of sheer limestone cliffs is as dramatic it could be. From afar and up close, the temple seamlessly merges with the surrounding cliffs. The intricate reliefs on the temple walls are clearly the work of skilled artisans. Most of the reliefs and statues had been beautifully-preserved, although most of those referring to Hatshepsut had been vandalized by Tuthmosis III (as an act of vengeance) and subsequently by the early Christians.
As it stands today, Hatshepsut's temple is one of finest monuments in all Egypt. One could only imagine how more regal it would had been during ancient times when it was surrounded by landscaped gardens of exotic plants and trees with the causeway leading to the entrance lined with stately sphinxes.
- Historical Travel
Queen Hatshepsut (Deir el-Bahri)
Hatshepsut named her temple Djeser Djeseru (splendour of splendours) and the rather stark building set as it is into the rockface is devoid of a great deal of the 'decor' that would have adorned it (including vast plantings of palm and myrtle tress leading up to it - tree stumps 3500 years old are still to be found and the ruins that dot the surrounding landscape are likely to have been part of the temple) to give it any real indication of such a claim.
The site itself is enormous and somehat desolate - the reliefs on the Upper Terrace being the highlight of the Temple. It was, however, the staging, in 1995, of the opera 'Aida' - famed for its enormous budget and huge losses. More recently, the temple was the location of the muslim fundamentalist attack on tourists, leading to the tightening of security in Egyot.
Hatshepshut was the only female pharaoh (1503-1482 BC)
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