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Edfu temple consists of traditional elements of Egyptian temples of the New Kingdom together with a few Greek elements, such as the Mammisi which is situated to the West of the main entrance of the temple. A mammisi means the house of the divine birth. It consists of an entrance, a court, and chapel. The walls of the Mammisi are decorated with scenes showing the story of the divine birth of Horus the child in the presence of Goddess Hathor, God Khenoum and other deities and Goddesses who were concerned with pregnancy and birth.
Temple consists of:
1- Pylon which considered the highest among surviving temples in Egypt today. It is 37 M high and decorated with battle scenes representing King Ptolemy VIII smiting his enemies before God Horus.
2- An Open Courtyard contains columns with floral capitals on three sides. This open court was open to the public and it was known as the court of the offerings. It is where people can give their offering to the statue of the God.
3- The Hypostyle Hall, where its rectangular hall and its roof are supported by 12 columns. On both sides of the entrance of the Hypostyle hall stands a statue of Horus of Behdet, which takes the shape of a falcon, also this hall is known as the outer Hypostyle Hall.
4- The Inner Hypostyle Hall is accessed by an entrance beyond the 1st Hypostyle Hall. Its roof is supported by 12 columns to the right and the left sides there are 2 rooms; one was used as a library that once contained a large number of manuscripts. The other room was used as a storeroom or magazine for the utensils and the tools of the temple.
5- Two consecutive vestibules, the outer one is called the hall of the offerings where the walls are decorated with various scenes representing the different deities and offering scenes by the different Ptolemaic Kings. The inner vestibule was called the rest house of the Gods.
6- At the end of the temple is the sanctuary which includes a niche of gray granite where the statue of the god is supposed to be placed.
In front of the Neos is a pedestal for the resting of the divine boat.
7- The sanctuary is surrounded by 12 rooms from the outside; where many religious Scenes on their walls were depicted.
In fact some of these rooms were used as storerooms while the others were dedicated for different religious purposes.
One of the most remarkable elements of the temple is the existence of a Nilometer, as well as a chapel which was dedicated to Goddess Nut.
On the various walls of the temple, there are many battle scenes as well as the famous scene of the ritual of the temple foundation.
The Northern wall of the court shows the divine marriage of Hathor and Horus of Behdet which was celebrated twice every year. Once at Dendara temple and the second time in Edfu temple.
On the Northern wall of the court the visitor can see the scene which represents the Journey of Hathor from Dendara to Edfu and the vice versa.
Another scene on the inside of the outer corridor of the western side of the temple, It depicts the legend of the conflict between Horus and Seth and the Victory of Horus over his Uncle and his coronation to rule the World.
Edfu is located 60 Km to the north of Aswan. It was the 2nd Nome of Upper Egypt and the centre of the cult of a triad of gods which consists of Horus of Behdet, Hathor, and their son Hor - Sama-Tawy. In the old Greek documents, Edfu was known by “Apollopolis Magna” because the Greek identified Horus with God Apollo. Edfu was a flourishing city during ancient Times. Today the most important monument in the city of Edfu is the temple of Horus which is considered one of the most beautiful and preserved temples in Egypt.
The Temple of Edfu:
The origins of that temple probably date back to the Second Intermediate Period but the actual temple dates back to the Ptolemaic period. The work of construction began during the reign of Ptolemy III (about 237 BC) and was finished during the reign of Ptolemy IV. Some other additions were done by other Ptolemaic kings and Roman Emperor Augustus. The construction of this temple and the additions, inscriptions, and relieves took about 180 years to be accomplished!