4 Must-See Temples of Egypt
When people think about traveling to Egypt, temples and ancient structures tend to pop to mind. Egypt has some of the most recognizable temples in the world, many of which are extraordinarily well-preserved and open to visitors. Any savvy traveler will want to see one or two of them in their lifetime.
Here are a few must-see temples in Egypt:
The Temples of Abydos
There are 10 Temples of Abydos but these 3 tend to stand out as a noteworthy feature: the Temple of Seti I, the Great Osiris Temple, and the Ramses II Temple. This group of temples is located in upper-North Egypt.
These temples are filled with lore of the afterlife. They are guarded by Wepwawet, a god with the head of a jackal that leads and protects souls during their journey through the Underworld. Abydos is also centered around Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead.
Dendera is a small town on the west bank of the Nile and the home of one of the most well-preserved temples in Egypt, the Dendera Temple complex. This is a holy site that has had many structures built, rebuilt, and further developed across an expansive history starting around 5000 BC.
This site is a place of worship for the Goddess Hathor, a deity of earthly love, healing, and nourishment. In the far-distant past, this place was a pilgrimage destination for miraculous cures as well as a hospital, a site for festivals, and the resting place for dozens of mysterious crypts.
Temple of Karnak
This open-air temple is the ancient site of the Temple of Amun in Thebes (now Luxor), which was once called Nesut-Towi (Throne of the Two Lands), Ipet-Iset (The Finest of Seats), and Ipt-Swt (Selected Spot).
This temple is the largest religious building in the world, dedicated to the god Amun-Ra, the deity of the sun and the air and known as “king of the gods.” The vast temple complex was built around an “inner sanctum” that aligned perfectly with the sunset of the summer solstice.
The entirety of the Hathor Temple complex spans over 40,000 square meters and features Temple of the birth of Isis, the Sacred Lake, the Sanatorium, a Barque shrine, Gateways of Domitian and Trajan, and other historical wonders.
Within this temple, you can see the “Dendera Light”, which (controversially) is an ancient art piece that has been said to contain what looks like evidence of a rudimentary electrical light. Some claim the image is symbolic and not an actual representation of a modern bulb; others, however, take it to signify that ancient Egypt was far more technologically advanced than we know.
Other Temples / Honorable Mentions:
- Karnak Temple
- Luxor Temple
- Queen Hatshesput’s mortuary temple
- Habu Temple
- Ramesseum Temple
Plan Your Trip
Ready to see some of these ancient, holy sites for yourself? We suggest the Cairo to Amman Tour and Ancient Egypt River Cruise, which will take you to the open-air temple of Karnak, Dendera and the Hathor Temple, as well as the Luxor Temple.
Have questions or concerns? Give one of Lloyds Travel and Cruise travel experts a shout at 1.800.800.7252 (toll-free) or firstname.lastname@example.org.