The Sacred Lake in the Dendera Temple complex

The Temples of Dendera

The Complex Temple of Dendera is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. The whole complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a hefty mud brick enclosed wall. This area was used as the sixth Nome of Upper Egypt, south of Abydos.

Location of Dendera Temples

Dendera Temple complex is located 7 km from Qena, and about 2.5 kilometers south-east of Dendera, Qena Governorate, Egypt.

The History of the complex

The temple complex displays a scene of the long history of Egypt. This amazing complex reveals a lot about this history. Here, we can find that the first building was done during the Ancient Egyptian period, and was continued by the Greek, and Roman rulers. There is evidence of temples and other structures that date back all the way to 2500 BCE. Pharaoh Pepi I (ca. 2250 BC) built on this site and evidence exists of a temple in the Eighteenth Dynasty (ca 1500 BC). However, the earliest extant building in this compound which dates back to native pharaohs _ the Mammisi which was raised by Nectanebo II (360–343 BC).

The appearance of Christianity in Egypt has its influence on the temples in Dendera, as well. There was also a Coptic Christian church on the premises near the Temple of Birth at one point. The main temple was built by Ptolemy XII and nearly completed by Queen Cleopatra VII, around 54 to 20 BCE.

The Features of the Complex in Dendera

The Dendera Temple complex has many features in it. These features include the following temples and elements:

  • Roman Mammisi
  • Christian Basilica
  • Sanatorium
  • Hathor temple (the main temple)
  • Temple of the birth of Isis
  • Sacred Lake
  • Barque shrine
  • Gateways of Domitian and Trajan
  • The Roman Kiosk
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