The City of Edfu
The city of Edfu, located in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile River, was a flourishing Greek city in ancient times and was commonly known as Apollinopolis Magna, after the chief God Horus-Apollo. Today the city rich with history is a friendly and commercial town. Locals produce sugar from farm-grown sugar cane and decorative pottery.
What draws travelers and tourists alike to the city of Edfu is the Temple of Horus, the main attraction. The Temple of Horus is considered to be the best-preserved temple in Egypt. The origins of the temple date back to the Ptolemaic times, between 237 and 57 BC, during which construction began and finished with further additions made later on. The Temple of Horus seen today is the compilation of 180 years of construction, additions, and inscriptions.
The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, consists of elements of both Egyptian temples and Greek architecture. A tour through the Temple of Horus unveils an entrance, a court, and a chapel with scenic inscriptions on the walls depicting the birth of Horus the child and other Pharaonic deities who were concerned with this pregnancy and birth. The temple’s entrance contains a Pylon, the highest surviving in Egypt, which is 37 meters high and decorated with battle scenes. Just past the Pylon is an open courtyard that served as an offerings court, where people would bring their offerings to the statue of Horus. Columns border the court with floral engravings on only three sides. Beyond the court of offerings are the Hypostyle Hall, the inner Hypostyle Hall, and two consecutive vestibules each of which are decorated with various scenes representing battles, deities, marriages, or offerings.
The significance of the Temple of Horus knows no bounds. Archeologists and historians have come out with bountiful information on language, religion, and way of life during this period in ancient Egypt.