If you’re looking for an expansive temple complex with an enormous basilica, two birth homes, and an ethereal lake, the Temple of Dendera is it.
The site is home to various ancient Egyptian monuments, including those from the Ptolemaic period.
However, there is evidence that it was initially occupied by construction dating as far back as Pepy II’s the Old Kingdom.
It is regarded as one of Egypt’s finest-preserved structures and is notable for its Ptolemaic-style reliefs, which constitute one of the outstanding examples of Egyptian decorative art.
Tourists may climb to the top of this temple to get a bird’s-eye view of the complex, a unique feature.
Book an amazing day tour to Dendera Temple to explore it
Explanation of the Dendera Temple Egypt
The Dendera Temple complex is about 40,000 square meters and has a big mudbrick wall.
As you walk into the temple, you’ll see a big hall called a “hypostyle” that leads to another room with the temple’s offices.
As you go deeper into the temple, you’ll reach the area for making offerings and then the main sanctuary, a big room with a series of smaller shrines for different gods.
Behind the main temple, you can find a small temple of Hathor and Isis.
From there, you can see the beautiful Dendera temple ceiling, which is divided into seven parts and has pictures of the night sky.
The first is the goddess Nut, seen bending over the world and covering everything with her cloak of stars.
In this painting, you can also see a solar boat and the god of the stars. On the ceiling of the solar boat, the zodiac signs are written.
The unique Egyptian zodiac signs depicting the stars are displayed in Paris’ Louvre Museum. There are some slight differences in how they are shown, though.
History of Hathor Temple
Dendera is originally called Tentyris, and it was one of Luxor’s most popular attractions and one of Egypt’s most important religious buildings on the west bank of the Nile.
At least three temples were built in the city to honor Horus, the guardian god of the pharaohs, as well as his son Ihy, who played the sistrum, and the goddess Hathor.
Only the third one has been kept almost entirely whole.
Before the Egyptians came, there was a thriving oasis on the banks of the Nile called Dendera.
Pepi I (around 2250 BCE) is thought to have built a temple here, and there are also signs of a temple from the Eighteenth Dynasty. (ca. 1500 BCE).
The oldest building in the Dendera Temple complex, the Mammisi, was built by the ancient Egyptian king Nectanebo II, who ruled from 360 to 343 BCE.
Who Built The Dendera Temple?
In the 1st century BC, Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II built the Dendera temple of Hathor, the goddess of pregnancy, love, and music. It was a gift to Hathor.
Different pictures of Cleopatra and the Ptolemaic dynasty are on the walls. On the other hand, the Dandara Zodiac relief shows the oldest known versions of the Zodiac signs.
Where in Egypt is Dendera Temple?
Dendera temple location is in the south of Qena in Egypt. It is 45 kilometers north of Luxor and about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) southeast of the Egyptian city of Dendera.
It is one of Egypt’s temple complexes that has been kept in the best shape.
These ancient Egyptian temples, tombs, and a Christian church are among the best-preserved of their kind in Egypt.
Why is Dendera Temple important?
It is a vast complex that has been a pilgrimage site since the beginning of Egyptian civilization.
The oldest temple we can see today was built by Nectanebo I, who was king between 381 and 364 A.D. It is part of a complex that covers more than 40,000 square meters.
Even though it has changed over time, the Dendera Temple of Hathor looks like it did when it was built in the Hellenic period.
Depending on the situation, her name “The Temple of Horus” or “The Abode of Horus” shows she is either Horus’ mother or his wife.
Dendera Temple Ceiling
You can find the mysterious Dendera zodiac signs in the Osiris chapel at the Dendera Temple of Hathor.
The temple’s roof is adorned with astronomical carvings, making it one of its most distinctive characteristics.
They are a sky chart showing 12 Egyptian zodiac signs, including the ram. The bull, the heavenly twins, and the crab. The lion, the virgin, the scales, the scorpion, the archer, the goat, the water pots. And the fishes with glittering tails.
They involved these pharaoh zodiac signs in making and using the ancient Egyptian calendar system.
Invading French troops took it down from the temple’s ceiling in 1820 and took it to the Louvre, where they put a copy in its place.
Opening Hours of the Temple
The Dendera Temple is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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