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The Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor -
7 Unmissable Things to See
If you go Egypt, one of the things you have to do is visit the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor.
Here is my list of most epic things to see at the Temple of Hatshepsut.
If you are planning a trip to Luxor, check out my post: Perfect 2-Day Itinerary in Luxor.
The Temple of Hatshepsut, also known as Djeser-Djeseru (Holy of Holies), is a mortuary temple built by Pharaoh Hatshepsut and dedicated to herself and god Amun.
This stunning temple is built into a cliff face and consists of a series of terraces that can be reached by long ramps. Each terrace is adorned by a series of graceful colonnades.
Who Was Hatshepsut
To start off, before you head to the Temple of Hatshepsut, you need to find out who Hatshepsut was!
- Hatshepsut (born c. 1507 BC – died 1458 BC) was the daughter of Thutmose I. She became the queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother Thutmose II. Upon the death of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut began acing as regent for her stepson Thutmose III.
- Hatshepsut was supposed to control the affairs of state until Thutmose III was to come of age. However, around 1473 BC, Hatshepsut broke with the tradition and had herself crowned as the pharaoh of Egypt becoming a co-ruler of Egypt with Thutmose III.
- Hatshepsut ruled for almost 20 years. She died about 1458 BC. How and why she died is still a mystery. What we know, is that Thutmose III had her name and image almost completely erased. She remained forgotten for centuries.
- Now, find out how Hatshepsut was re-discovered. Read about Hatshepsut’s accomplishments as a Pharaoh. Do not miss my post: The Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor – Top Tips for Visiting. Plus, it has a ton of useful information to help you plan your visit to the Temple of Hatshepsut.
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The Ground Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut
The Ground Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut has a large Courtyard. As you pass through it, imagine how magnificent it must have been with exotic trees brought from the expedition to the land of Punt and planted here.
Also, imagine how stunning the Courtyard must have looked with the avenue of the sphinxes. Now, they are gradually being restored.
The Southern Colonnade
Next, take your time and meander through the two colonnades that have already been restored. They comprise of spectacular 22 columns on each side arranged in double rows.
Make your way to the Southern Colonnade. It is located on the left-hand side of the courtyard. Here, you will find the scene showing two obelisks being transported by water. These are the two obelisks that Hatshepsut had erected at the Karnak Temple.
If you look closely at the relief, you can see that the first two rows show the obelisks on the decks of the large barges.
Right below, you can see a parade of the troops as a part of the festivities which were held to celebrate the arrival of the obelisks at the Karnak Temple.
The Second Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut
Next, take a wide ramp leading to the Second Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut.
The Statues of Hatshepsut
Once you get to the Second Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut, you will be greeted by enormous states of Hatshepsut.
The Chapel of Hathor
Next, turn left and make your way to check out the Chapel of Hathor.
First of all, you will see Hathor columns leading to the shrine.
Also, make sure to check out the rest of the chapel which comprises of three chambers, one behind the other. and each with several recesses.
The Punt Colonnade
Hatshepsut’s major accomplishment was opening and expending the trade routes. Her expedition to the Land of Punt was beautifully documented in the section of the Temple of Hatshepsut called the Punt Colonnade.
The Punt Colonnade reveals a lot about the expedition spearheaded by Hatshepsut. It shows the ships that sailed to the Land of Punt. It depicts the inhabitants of the fairway land.
Furthermore, it shows a variety of trees and animals that were found in the Land of Punt.
Interestingly, some of the reliefs show the houses being constructed over the water with ladders leading up to the entrances.
And, the reliefs provide an excellent list of the many luxury goods that were brought back to Egypt.
I was really fascinated to see how the trees were being brought to Egypt.
The Birth Colonnade
Next, do not miss the Birth Colonnade. It is located on the right-hand side of the Second Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut.
It tells the story of Hatshepsut’s divine creation.
The Anubis Chapel
Finally, make sure to visit the Anubis Chapel.
Any scenes of Hatshepsut have been destroyed, but scenes showing Tuthmosis III still survive.
The Third Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut
Finally, make your way to the Third Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut.
The Sanctuary of Amun
Make sure to visit the Sanctuary of Amun, which is situated behind the small courtyard.
The Sanctuary of Amun is absolutely breathtaking. The astronomical ceiling is stunning.
The temple includes an image of Hatshepsut depicted as male pharaoh giving offerings to Horus.
The opening of the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut
The Polish-Egyptian Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari was founded in 1961 by Prof. Kazimierz Michałowski. Since then, archaeologists, restorers and architects associated with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw have been documenting and reconstructing the temple. Since 1999, Dr. Z. E. Szafrański is the director of the Mission. The Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re is one of the best-preserved rooms of the complex.
Source: University of Warsaw
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However, before you head to the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor, make sure to read my post: The Temple of Hatshepsut – Top Tips for Visiting.