The ancient city of Edfu, which sits along the West Bank of the Nile River is home to the grand and astounding Temple of Horus. It was constructed between 237 and 57 BC, during the Ptolemaic Kingdom and is one of the best preserved Egyptian shrines. The reliefs and inscriptions are from the Hellenistic period of Egypt and tell of their languages, religions and myths. It was truly a magnificent place to visit while cruising along the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor.
If you are planning to visit Edfu, more than likely you will be arriving by cruise ship. My friends and I had booked with Egypt Gift Tours and we were extremely pleased with their professionalism. When we docked at Edfu, our guide was waiting for us inside the lobby of our cruise ship and escorted us out onto the streets. We had a horse and carriage awaiting us, which took us through the city and on to the Temple of Edfu.
Horse and carriage ride to the temple.
The Temple of Edfu – This stunning temple has been recognized as one of the best examples of an Egyptian temple due to it being in a very good intact shape. In the last several years, more has been added to it to accommodate visitors like a paved parking lot, visitor center and night illumination. I would have enjoyed seeing this temple illuminated at night and I could only imagine how brilliant it would look.
The ancient temple of Edfu is the grandest temple dedicated to the God Horus and Hathor of Dendera. This was also the center of many festivals that were considered sacred to Horus.
The courtyard inside the Temple of Edfu is pictured on the Egyptian 50 pound note.
The massive and magnificent columns of the Temple of Hours (Edfu)
Our guide made a joke saying the ancient Egyptians spoke about Wi-Fi and McDonald’s milkshakes!
Our guide had scraped the stone pavement to reveal gorgeous color powders of red and blue. These natural paints were used to colorize the reliefs inside the temple, as well as make-up for the ancient Egyptians.
You can still note a bit of the blue and red color powder that were used on the reliefs of the columns and the enterance gate.
We were all quite captivated by the beauty and the complexity of this shrine as well as the ‘off the beaten track’ location. The horse and carriage ride was a fun way on getting to the temple as well. I would say that we had a pretty great day in Edfu!
The city of Edfu from the Nile River and our horse and carriage ride.
More than likely if you are visiting Aswan or Luxor for the temples, you will be hiring a private guide to take you there. It is very important that you hire an official guide in Egypt to take you to the sites, and just not someone on the sidewalk asking you if you want to take a city tour. On our trip to Aswan and Luxor, plus our cruise along the Nile River, we chose Egypt Gift Tours who I highly recommend. They had professionally coordinated us on private tours for all of our trips from Aswan to Luxor.
And then I realized that adventures were the best way to learn…
Yours Truly and Horus at his temple in Edfu, Egypt
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre