Built during the 18th Dynasty (c. 1550–1295 BC) in the New Kingdom, the temple of Amada is one of the oldest of the ancient Egyptian monuments lying along the shores of Lake Nasser. The reliefs and inscriptions of the temple are very well preserved because they were covered with a layer of plaster when it was converted into a church.
Three generations of kings built this beautiful temple. The great conquering warrior kings Thutmose III (c. 1479–1425 BC) and his son Amenhotep II (c. 1427– 1400 BC) built its core, and Thutmose IV (c. 1400–1390 BC) added the graceful hypostyle hall in front. Minor additions and modifications were made in the 19th Dynasty (1295–1186 BC).
The temple’s decoration shows the king in temple ritual and in the company of a wide variety of deities. The temple being dedicated to the gods Amun-Ra and Ra-Horakhty, the king is often seen entering, or being led into, the presence of one of these two powerful gods.
The temple’s walls feature important texts, too. The inscription at the bottom of the left thickness of the doorway into the temple records military exploits by the 19th Dynasty king Merenptah (c. 1213–1203 BC), while Amenhotep II recorded his successful military campaign to the Levant on the rear wall of the sanctuary.
With the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, the temple of Amada was in danger of being lost to the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Thankfully, it was possible to reconstruct this temple here, in New Amada, after it was relocated from its original site in Amada around 2.5 km away.