Visit to Dendara
Highlights / General details
The area in which the temple is located is that of ancient Iunet or Tantere (Greek Tentyris), a provincial capital and important religious site during several periods of Egyptian history. Early texts refer to a temple at Dendarah which was rebuilt in Old kingdom monarchs, including Tuthmosis III, Amenophis III, and Ramesses II and III are known to have embellished the structure. The temple of Hathor which stands at the site today dates to the Graeco-Roman period, however, and is one of the best-preserved temples of this period in Egypt, surviving despite the destruction of the temples of Hathor’s consort Horus and their child Ihy or Harsomptus which originally stood close by.
Like most Egyptian temples, Dendarah is oriented towards the Nile, but because the Nile bends here, the structure actually faces north, rather than east-west as would normally be the case. The temple area is fronted by several Roman period kiosks and propylon gateway, built during the reigns of Domitian and Trajan, which was set into the massive mud-brick walls which surround the enclosure. Although the site lacks a colonnade and the two pylons which ought to precede the inner temple, an unfinished inner enclosure wall of stone surrounds a courtyard with side entrances which open before the large hypostyle hall added in the 1st century AD by the emperor Tiberius. Unlike those of earlier temples, the façade of this hypostyle is constructed as a low screen with inter columnar walls exposing the hall’s ceiling and Hathor-featured sistrum-capitals of its 24 columns. Each column beams a four-sided capital carved with the face of the cow-eared goddess, though every one of the faces was vandalized in antiquity. The ceiling of the hall retains much if its original color, however, and is decorated as a complex and carefully aligned symbolic chart of the heavens, including signs of the zodiac (introduced by the Romans) and images of the sky-goddess Nut who swallows the sun disc each evening in order to give birth to it at dawn.
Hotel pickup and drop off; Transport by air-conditioned minivan; Qualified Egyptologist guide available in English, Spanish, French, German, or Portuguese; Entrance fees.
Gratuities (recommended); Food and Drinks.
Hours of operation
Available: Daily. Exact hotel pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.
Tour departs from centrally located Luxor hotels or Luxor Port. Tour returns to original departure point.
This tour requires 2 passengers minimum in order to operate.
Complete information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, will be included on your Confirmation Voucher.
**All information requested must be supplied or booking is subject to automatic cancellation**