CAIRO – 3 March 2021: On March 3, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the completion of the second phase of Qena’s Dendara Temple Complex restoration and development project.
Dendara Temple Complex was built on the western shore of the Nile for the worship of the ancient Egyptian deity Hathor, the goddess of love, beauty and family. The temple was built using sandstone during the Greco-Roman era, where King Ptolemy III started its construction, which took about 200 years, with many Roman emperors adding to the process.
The temple is distinguished by its unique architecture, rich in paintings and engravings. Its walls and columns are decorated with hieroglyphic inscriptions and beautifully carved statues. Inscriptions on the inner walls of the temple show the Roman Caesars Augustus, Tiberius and Nero making offerings to the gods in the same way ancient Egyptians did.
Considered one of the most prominent architectural masterpieces in the history of ancient Egypt, the temple is also famous for the astronomical views that adorn its ceilings. The upper ceiling can be accessed via staircases decorated with scenes of priestly processions as they ascend the stairs carrying statues of Hathor, showing exquisite Pharaonic inscriptions related to the New Year celebrations.
The facade of the Dendara Temple is one of the most beautiful façades of the ancient Egypt. It is 35 meters wide and 12.5 meters in height. The façade of the temple is crowned with impressive huge columns; the top column is crowned with drawings of the heads of the god Hathor (Hathorian faces).
The second temple of the divine birth, which was built during the reign of Augustus, contains a bas-relief embodying a mock gate that reaches to the afterlife, topped by three winged sun disks and a row of cobra snakes crowned with sun disks. The number of columns that bear the roof of the temple hall sums up to 24 columns. These columns are surrounded by a group of rooms for offerings.
The catacombs of the Dendara Temple Complex were dedicated to festive celebrations in ancient Egypt. The golden statues of deities and precious tools necessary for the conduct of religious rituals are stored inside. The catacombs showcase an important group of inscriptions and scenes, including the scene of the opening of the stone door.