The Temple of Horus

Who is Horus?

The divine child of a holy family triad, the son of Osiris and Isis, and the husband of the merciful goddess Hathor. His words describing himself were found in coffin texts saying  “No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'."    Horus was believed to be the god of war and the god of the sky. His fight with Seth is thought to represent the struggles between northern and southern Egypt and his defeat to Seth is a symbolism of Egypt’s unification.

Worshipping Horus

Horus cults appeared in a variety of locations throughout ancient Egypt, however, he appears to have been more popular in the south than in the north. He was the patron deity of Nekhen, a city in southern Egypt known as the City of the Hawk. Horus and Hathor, his consort, also dominated Ptolemaic temples at Kom Ombo and Edfu.   Every year, a ritual called the Coronation of the Sacred Falcon was conducted in Edfu, during which a real falcon was crowned to represent Horus on the throne.

Who Built the Temple of Edfu?

The current temple, which was started "on 23 August 237 BC," originally comprised of a pillared hall, two transverse halls, and a barque sanctuary surrounded by chapels. The construction began during the time of Ptolemy III Euergetes and was finished in 57 BC during the reign of Ptolemy XII Auletes by the architect Imhotep.

The Location of The Temple of Horus

Edfu is located 109 kilometers south of Luxor and 130 kilometers north of Aswan, making it a regular stop on a trip between these two important Upper Egyptian towns.   Within its immense halls, strolling through colossal arches and roaming ant-like along corridors that appear to have been designed for giants, you get a sense of Egypt's monarchs' all-encompassing might. The looming sandstone walls of the temple are adorned in massive hieroglyphics and brilliant friezes that resemble the patriotic decorations of former pharaohs.

Visiting the temple of Horus at Edfu

After Karnak, the temple of Horus is Egypt's second-largest temple. This was an important sacred location for ancient Egyptians because it was here that the falcon-headed deity, Horus, waged a battle with his uncle, Seth, who had ruthlessly slain Horus's father, Osiris. The temple is devoted to Horus, the vengeful son of Isis and Osiris, and has been preserved by desert sand that filled the space when the pagan ritual was outlawed.   Visitors can still see where soldiers once stood, keeping watch over the pharaoh's adversaries, as the temple pylons reach an astonishing 118 feet into the sky. Visitors to this ancient site may track history through age-old etchings that document years of land gifts and even illustrate the annual Triumph of Horus—a yearly event in which a ceremonial hippopotamus is killed with ten harpoons.



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