E is for Edfu

Edfu was built between 257BC & 237BC and is the most well preserved temple complex in Egypt on account of it having been completely buried in sand until the 1860s.  Edfu is dedicated to the falcon-headed God Horus.

Most of the Egyptian temples had birds singing in and around the complex and occasionally venturing inside, but it seemed delightfully fitting that in Horus’ temple, his little feathered friends were actually nesting in little holes in the walls.

Unfortunately, as with many Egyptian temples, most of the frescoes were defaced by later dwellers.  Those same dwellers are also the source of the holes within which the sparrows nest.  Thankfully some of the lower frescoes were already covered by sand at this point and are in tact.

Horus is the son of the God Osiris and the Goddess Isis.  Osiris was killed and dismembered by his evil brother Seth.  Frescoes on the walls of Edfu show Horus (standing in the boat) avenging his father’s murder in a fierce battle with his Uncle, depicted in the form of a hippopotamus underneath.  The hippopotamus increases in size as the battle progresses – both the choice and size of the animal are designed to show how strong and powerful a God Horus was to have defeated such an impressive beast.

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8 Responses to E is for Edfu

  1. I would love to visit Egypt for the culture and history side of things- I’ve only ever been to the tourist bit and found it a little over the top. This is a lovely informative post 🙂

    • Jay says:

      Now is a good time to go Natalie – with all the troubles last year tourism is down and Egypt seems almost deserted. It felt like we had the place to ourselves which was wonderful for us – not so great for Egyptians who rely on tourism to put food on the table of course.

  2. nutschell says:

    what beautiful pictures! I’d love to see Edfu for myself one day.
    Great A-Z post!

  3. I would love to visit Egypt, too. And Iran. I find Sumer and Mesopotamia fascinating. I can’t sign into WP, so have to use twitter. My blog is mpaxauthor.blogpspot.com

  4. mshatch says:

    wow, very interesting, and lovely pictures of the temple.

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