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The Temple of Horus at Edfu is one of the largest and best-preserved temples dedicated to Horus and Hathor of Dendera. Hands down, a visit to the Temple of Horus at Edfu needs to be a part of your itinerary to Egypt. Find out how to visit and what to see at the Temple of Horus at Edfu.

How to Visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The Temple of Horus at Edfu is located 109 km south of Luxor. It roughly takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach the city of Edfu.


Image Source: Map data ©2020 ORION-ME

The best way to visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu is with a private guide and a driver. Honestly, having a driver and a tour guide gives you total flexibility. You can decide how long you will stay and what you want to see.

Now, if you are staying in one of the hotels in Luxor, your hotel will be more than happy to arrange for you a driver and a guide. Needless to say, this is an expensive option, but it is all worth it.

Another option is to join a tour. You can ask your hotel for a bus tour that goes to Edfu. It is probably one of the least expensive options. But, it does not give you much flexibility.

Another option is to just book a taxi and visit Hours Temple of Edfu. You will always be able to hire a guide right at the entrance to the temple.

Now, what you need to know is that once you reach Edfu, the only way to get to visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu is by a horse-drawn carriage.

He explained to me that the roads leading to the temple are so narrow that they do not support any type of vehicle. So, the tourist transport operation to the Temple of Horus at Edfu solely relies on horse-drawn carriages. And, there are hundreds of horse-drawn carriages waiting for the tourists to take them to visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu.

This operation, certainly, gives employment to a large number of people.

My only recommendation is that you select a horse that looks well taken care of. And, make sure to tip the owner of that horse. I feel that we as tourists have the power to help.

What You Need to Know about the Temple of Horus at Edfu

  • The city of Edfu is famous for its large sandstone Temple dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus.
  • As my guide told me, the Temple of Horus at Edfu was built during the Ptolemaic Period. Specifically, it was started in 237 BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes and finished some 180 years later, around 57 BC by Ptolemy XII Auletes.
  • The Temple of Horus at Edfu is considered to be the most complete and the best preserved ancient temple structure in Egypt.
  • The ancient Egyptians believed that the temple was built on top of the location where the infamous battle of Horus and Seth took place. Source: Ancient Egypt Online
  • Horus was usually depicted as a falcon or as a falcon-headed man. At Edfu, Horus was worshiped as the falcon Horus of Behdet.
What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Horus was usually depicted as a falcon or as a falcon-headed man. At Edfu, Horus was worshiped as the falcon Horus of Behdet / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

Map of the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Map of the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Map of the Temple of Horus at Edfu / Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Temple of Horus at Edfu

What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

NUMBER 1

The Pylon

The entrance to the Temple of Horus at Edfu is composed of an impressive pylon. It stands at a height of 130 feet.

A Quick Read: 

What is a pylon?

Pylon is the Greek term for a monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple. It consists of two tapering towers, each surmounted by a cornice, joined by a less elevated section that encloses the entrance between them. The entrance was generally about half the height of the towers. Contemporary paintings of pylons show them with long poles flying banners. Source: Wikipedia

The Pylon at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The Pylon at the Temple of Horus at Edfu / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

Now, take a look at the reliefs decorating the twin towers. As you can see, the carved-out scenes are mirror images of each other and represent pharaoh Ptolemy XII defeating his enemies.

Also, there are four large openings on each side that, possibly were used to anchor the flags.

What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The entrance to the Temple of Horus at Edfu / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

Two granite statues of Horus as falcon guard the entrance gate.

Falcon statues at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The entrance to the Temple of Horus at Edfu is guarded by two amazing granite statues of Horus as a falcon / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

NUMBER 2

The Courtyard

Once you cross the entrance gate, make sure to turn around and take a look at the back side of the pylon. It has some impressive reliefs depicting the Happy Reunion feast, in which Horus of Edfu is united with Hathor of Dendera.

The marriage was celebrated twice a year, once at the Temple of Edfu, and then again, at the Dendera Temple.

visit temple of horus at edfu

The back side of the pylon has some impressive reliefs depicting the Happy Reunion feast, in which Horus of Edfu is united with Hathor of Dendera / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

The courtyard is surrounded on three sides by a covered colonnade of thirty-two columns.

Courtyard at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The Courtyard at the Temple of Horus at Edfu / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

As you approach the entrance to Great Hypostyle Hall, make sure to take a moment and check out the granite statues of Horus as a falcon. One of the statues has been destroyed, however, the other one is beautifully preserved.

Statue of Horus as falcon at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Statue of Horus as falcon guarding the entrance to Hypostyle Hall at the Temple of Horus at Edfu / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

NUMBER 3

The Great Hypostyle Hall (Outer Hall)

Beyond the Courtyard is the majestic Great Hypostyle Hall (Outer Hall). It is made up of twelve columns arranged in two rows.

You will be amazed by the size of the Great Hypostyle Hall!

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The Great Hypostyle Hall (Outer Hall) / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The Great Hypostyle Hall (Outer Hall) / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

As you continue down the Great Hypostyle Hall, make sure to look up. You will be rewarded with a view of amazing floral capitals and the ceiling adorned with astronomical imagery.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

Beautiful floral capitals and the ceiling are adorned with astronomical imagery / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

Foral capitals and the ceiling adorned with astronomical imagery / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

NUMBER 4

The Inner Hypostyle Hall

Next, beyond the Outer Hypostyle Hall lies the second, smaller, yet even more impressive, the Inner Hypostyle Hall.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The Inner Hypostyle Hall is smaller, however, it is even more impressive than the first hall / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

The Inner Hypostyle Hall has twelve columns which are lined up in three rows.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The Inner Hypostyle Hall / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

As you continue in, less light filters in, and the columns are beautifully illuminated with different color lights.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The columns are beautifully illuminated with different color lights / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The Inner Hypostyle Hall / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

There are three small side rooms that are adjacent to the Inner Hypostyle Hall. You can enter each of the side rooms and make sure to check out the beautiful reliefs decorating the walls.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

There are several small rooms adjacent to the hall / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

To the left, you will find the Room of the Nile. It was used to store the water necessary for purification.

Next to it is a very interesting room which was used to make the perfumes used in rituals. The walls of this room are covered with detailed instructions for obtaining different scents.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The walls of this room are covered with detailed instructions for obtaining different scents / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

To the right of the Inner Hypostyle Hall used to be the Treasury. It contained objects that were used to adorn the statues of the gods.

Next, you will pass by the Hall of Offerings. It is a narrow room that was used for the burning of food and oil offerings for the gods.

Beyond the Hall of Offerings is the Vestibule or the Antechamber. This is the last room before the entrance into the most sacred portion of the temple, which is the Naos.

NUMBER 5

The Naos

The Naos at the Temple of Horus at Edfu is the shrine built by Nectanebo II. It is the oldest part of the temple. It holds a black monolithic block engraved with the cartouche of Nectanebo II.

As my guide told me, the shrine contained the sacred barks of Horus and Hathor which were used in processions. It also contained the statue of Horus.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

The Naos at the Temple of Horus at Edfu is the shrine built by Nectanebo II. It is the oldest part of the temple / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

After you visit the Naos at the Temple of Horus at Edfu, take your time and wander around the temple. There are many chambers, chapels, and store rooms. It is really like a maze!

On the east side are chambers that served as storage for precious metals and stones. To the west are chambers that served as places for making sacred oils and ointments, with instructions on the walls.

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

Take your time and wander around the temple. There are many rooms and passages surrounding the temple / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

On the east side are chambers that served as storage for precious metals and stones / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

To the west are chambers that served as places for making sacred oils and ointments, with instructions on the walls / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

There are many chambers, chapels, and store rooms. It is really like a maze! / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

After you visit the Naos at the Temple of Horus at Edfu, take your time and wander around the temple / What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

How Was the Temple of Horus at Edfu Discovered

The Temple of Horus at Edfu stopped being used as a place of worship following Theodosius I‘s edict banning non-Christian worship within the Roman Empire in 391 AD.

Over the centuries, the temple became buried beneath the desert sand.

Local inhabitants built homes directly over the former temple grounds.

In 1798 the temple was discovered by the French expedition. It was not until 1860 that Auguste Mariette began the excavation of the Temple of Hours at Edfu.

What Are the Opening Hours and Cost of the Entrance Ticket to the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The Temple of Horus at Edfu is open from 7 am till 4 pm October through May and 7 am till 5 pm June through September.

The entrance ticket costs 180 EGP.

 

temple of Horus at Edfu

Intrepid Scout's Pointers for What to See at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

  • My. recommendation is that you add the Temple of Horus at Edfu to your Egypt itinerary. It should not be missed! It is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt.
  • The Temple of Horus at Edfu is just an easy trip from Luxor that you could accomplish in a day. Either hire a guide and a driver or get a taxi. It is by far the best option for sightseeing in Egypt.
  • If you are looking for more day trips from Luxor then check out my post: 5 Best Day Trips from Luxor (with Maps and Photos).

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