The Temple of Dendera
Though the temple of Dendera is not as popular as other temples
in Egypt, it still has the magic to attract visitors from all
over the world. This temple is located in the countryside north
of Luxor. Itís about an hour drive from Karnak and Luxor.
It was dedicated to the goddess Hathor but was never finished.
The temple at one time was hidden by sand but was cleared during
the 1800s. It also sits among other monuments but most of those
are from the Greco-Roman Period.
Unlike other typical Egyptian temples, this temple was a
Greco-Roman Temple. This meant that much of the temple had
influences by Greece and Rome. It now sits on the edge of the
desert and has managed to stay intact. In fact, this temple is
probably one of the best preserved temples in Egypt.
The construction of the temple can be mainly attributed to one
of the Ptolemaic kings. Itís believed this temple was rebuilt
over an existing temple that dated back to the Middle Kingdom.
It was then continually modified under the Ptolemaic kings, and
finally completed during the Roman times.
An example of roman influences would be the sunken relief
carvings of Cleopatra VII. They date back to the Ptolemaic
Period. On the western side of the temple and on the south wall,
Cleopatra VII and her son Caesarion can be seen. There Cleopatra
VII stands in customary Egyptian rankings with her co-regent by
her side (Caesarion).
Though the temple had lots of influences from the Romans, its
architecture was Egyptian. For example, the pylon had slanted
walls and corners that were curved. The outward-curing cavetto,
a bracket around the walls, was done in classic design. It also
had two birth houses, a Coptic Basilica, sanitarium, a sacred
lake, and a temple to Isis.
This temple holds several hidden
crypts. The crypts can be entered through small openings and
tourists can visit these vaults. . They can be found towards the
eastern, southern, and western sides of the temple.