The Temple of Horus at Edfu is one of the best preserved ancient monuments in the world. Situated at the banks of the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, the Edfu temple took around 180 years for the Ptolemies to build. The building of the temple began in 237 AD under Ptolemy III and was uncovered by archaeologists in 1860. The temple is the second largest in the world after the Karnak temple.
The temple is dedicated to the hawk God Horus who in Osirian myth was the child of Isis and Osiris. The myth dictates that Horus set out to avenge his fathers murder by his uncle Seth, and there was a massive fight between the two at Edfu, resulting in Horus losing an eye and Seth losing his testicles. Seth almost won until Horus’s mother Isis intervened. Osiris judged Seth when he reached the Underworld and awarded the throne to Horus. All pharaohs claimed to be the incarnation of Horus, the “living king”.
The temple is open to tourists and is visually spectacular to look around, tourists are first greeted by the huge pylon (front wall) which features engravings on pharaohs. One of the main features is the stone statue of Horus which was used as a shrine and is decorated with carvings of reeds. There are many aspects to the temple, such as the Court of Offerings where offerings to Horus were made. In the hall is detailed reliefs depicting the Festival of the Beautiful Meeting. There is a maze of chambers and magnificent halls within the temple, such as the hypostyle hall which features some wonderful statues of Horus and high pillars.